Gao Zhisheng Allowed Family Visit in Remote Prison

23 January, 2013 at 10:41 | Posted in China, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution, slave labor camps, Society | Leave a comment
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By Irene Luo
Epoch Times Staff

It’s been over a year since human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng was detained in the remote Shaya Prison in Xinjiang Province, and only recently was he allowed to meet his family for the second time. They had not been permitted to visit since March 2012.

Gao, sometimes calling “China’s conscience,” was arrested, harassed and tortured from 2005 onwards after defending persecuted practitioners of Falun Gong, a traditional spiritual discipline, and other groups targeted by the regime.

Gao’s eldest brother told Sound of Hope (SOH) radio on Jan. 18 that he had been trying to visit his detained brother for a long time, and only after he threatened to appeal in Beijing did the authorities allow his family to visit Gao in prison.

Gao’s wife, Geng He, who currently resides in the United States with their children, maintained that Chinese communist authorities are afraid her family would expose her husband’s situation to the international community if they visited him.

His younger brother and father-in-law traveled far to see him, but were only granted a half-hour visit under strict monitoring and control.

During the short meeting, Gao could only ask about the family’s wellbeing. His only words for his wife were to raise the children well and don’t worry too much about him.

Geng told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that prior to their visit, the prison has forbidden them to ask any questions about Gao’s treatment; violating this rule would lead to immediate termination of the visit, she said.

During the meeting, Gao’s brother asked whether he could read newspapers or watch television but was abruptly interrupted before Gao was able to speak; a guard said that Gao wasn’t allowed.

Geng told RFA that the family made great efforts to get a chance to see him. The journey across the remote region of Xinjiang to the prison is harsh and takes around 10 days. The most important aspect of the encounter was to verify that Gao is still alive.

Sound of Hope Radio interviewed several well-known Chinese human rights activists after the short prison meeting.

Beijing human rights activist Hu Jia said that over the past eight years, Gao Zhisheng has constantly suffered brutal torture by the Chinese Communist authorities.

Hu said Gao is locked up in a place referred to by the Uyghur locals as a “terrorist prison.”

“The evil of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is fully implemented by the propaganda system and the politics and law system. Regardless of whether they are the Internet and media censors, or the political and local police that block petitioners, evil is being implemented through these various individuals. So when we are faced with these evil people, we must understand, fundamentally, it is the evil of the system, the evil of the CCP,” Hu said.

According to human rights lawyer Tang Jingling from Guangzhou, who is familiar with the CCP’s persecution of the prisoners of conscience, Gao has very likely been suffering from “strict control” and torture.

Tang added that “strict control” as implemented by guards is “very cruel”: the victim is forbidden to speak to anyone, or is often in solitary confinement in a small cell, or sometimes in a cage or small space, where they cannot stand up, or sit or lie down. Over time it is agonizing, Tang said.

Editor’s Note: When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing to participate in the persecution any longer. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.

Read the original Chinese article.

via Gao Zhisheng Allowed Family Visit in Remote Prison | Democracy & Human Rights | China | Epoch Times

Related Articles: LA Protesters Call for Release of Gao Zhisheng for Human Rights Day

Gao Zhisheng’s Family Receives Unusual Letter Asking Them Not to Visit

19 December, 2012 at 10:24 | Posted in China, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution, Society | Leave a comment
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By Gu Qing’er
Epoch Times Staff

A letter purporting to be from Gao Zhisheng, the well-known Chinese human rights lawyer detained for defending persecuted groups in China, was sent to family members recently, saying that they should not visit him in the remote province of Xinjiang. But the note has raised suspicions, with relatives convinced that Gao didn’t actually write it.

Gao’s family told The Epoch Times that the letter—received on the eve of the 18th National Party Congress in November—was inscribed with two red wax thumbprints. It merely said “hello to each family member,” but maintained they should not visit, making them more worried for his safety. His brothers said they would visit him by the end of the year.

“After receiving this letter, it made us more nervous and doubtful,” Gao’s wife, Geng He, told The Epoch Times. “His elder brother felt uneasy since he had never seen the thumbprints before and said they were very unusual.”

“In the past, we have always contacted each other by telephone and rarely by letter.” His brother has never seen Gao Zhisheng’s handwriting, so he can’t tell whether the letter really is from him, she added.

Gao has been detained several times by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), but last disappeared in early 2009. One of his brothers said he received a document early this year, saying that Gao was detained in Xinjiang.

Gao renounced the CCP in 2005 and, after writing about and defending cases involving practitioners of the persecuted Falun Gong meditation discipline, was continually harassed by Chinese security forces before being detained and severely tortured.

On Dec. 22, 2006, Gao was given a suspended prison sentence of three years for allegedly “inciting subversion of state power.” He and his family were placed under house arrest, before his wife and children fled China in 2009 to reside in the United States.

Gao has been subjected to torture and other human rights abuses while in detention, and wrote an open letter in 2007 exposing some of this misconduct by his captors. Sun Yong, a member of the Chinese Human Rights Protection Group, said Gao is “said to often be abused” because he “understands the nature of the Communist Party, and thus suffers the most suppression.”

Geng He, Gao’s wife, maintains that Chinese Communist authorities are afraid Gao’s family would tell the international community of his situation if they visited him, which is why the letter appeared saying Gao did not want to see them.

She added that Gao Zhiyi, his brother, has continually told the Yulin City Public Security Bureau, located in Shaanxi Province—where Gao is from—that he wanted to see his brother in detention. Specifically, Gao Zhiyi told Chinese authorities he would visit during the 18th National Party Congress period, and “that is why authorities manipulated this letter and sent it to Gao Zhiyi,” preventing him from doing so, Geng He said.

“The authorities have never allowed us to see Gao Zhisheng; we are very anxious about his safety,” Gao Zhiyi told The Epoch Times.

“The [Chinese regime] has said that we can only see him with an approval document issued by the local police station,” he said, adding that the family would still attempt to visit him despite the length and cost of the trip.

Repeated Visitation Refusals

When Bo Xilai was removed as Communist Party head of Chongqing on March 15, Gao’s family got a phone call from the authorities that day, saying they could visit him, provided they did not tell anyone. Gao Zhiyi and his father-in-law were only allowed to visit Gao Zhisheng in the Shaya Prison in Xinjiang for a half-hour, after spending two years apart not knowing whether he was still alive, Geng He told The Epoch Times.

But she said that since March, no one in his family has been able to see her husband. She again turned to authorities in Europe and the United States to place pressure on the Chinese regime and allow visitation rights.

In August, Gao’s family lawyers, Beijing lawyers Li Xiongbing and Li Subin, attempted to meet with him, but were turned away.

The authorities declined visitation, saying Gao Zhisheng was himself a high-level lawyer and did not need legal representation, that the letter sent by his brother Gao Zhiyi did not meet the authorities’ requirements, and that Gao did not actually want to meet with his family or lawyers—a narrative that the recent missive appears designed to support.

Read the original Chinese article.

via Gao Zhisheng’s Family Receives Unusual Letter Asking Them Not to Visit | Democracy & Human Rights | China | Epoch Times

Related Articles: Imprisoned Chinese Lawyer Gao ‘Is Not Forgotten’

Chinese Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Alive

29 March, 2012 at 17:51 | Posted in China, Falun Dafa/Falun Gong, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
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Family allowed to visit in prison

By Matthew Robertson
Epoch Times Staff

Gao Zhisheng, the famous Chinese human rights lawyer now jailed in the remote Western region of Xinjiang, was allowed an inaugural jail visit by his brother and his wife’s father, said his wife, Geng He.

The meeting between Gao Zhiyi, Gao Zhisheng’s brother, and Geng Yundi, Gao’s father-in-law, took place on March 24. Security agents escorted the two family members from Shaanxi Province to Xinjiang Province for the 30-minute meeting, which was conducted through telephone receptors and prison glass.

Geng He, who now lives in California, explained in a telephone interview late Tuesday evening the difficulties her brother-in-law had in meeting Gao Zhisheng. He arrived in Beijing on Feb. 24 and went to a series of government agencies, all of which sent him away. At one point he was detained by domestic security agents.

“My father spoke for 10 minutes, sitting on the stool,” Geng He said. “Gao asked about the health of everyone in the family. … My father said ‘Having seen you, I’m fine now.’ When Gao heard this, he cried.”

Gao is sometimes referred to as “China’s conscience.” He defended victims of injustice for years, before suffering the wrath of the Communist Party after writing letters to the leadership demanding an end to the persecution of Falun Gong.

He has been in the Shaya Prison in Xinjiang since December 2011, serving a three-year sentence that is widely seen to be arbitrary. One legal expert characterized it as a “rabbit out of the hat.”

The news confirms that Gao is alive and in stable health, which had been doubted after no news was heard for several months. Upon hearing the news, “We let out a sigh of relief,” Geng He said.

via Chinese Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Alive | Democracy & Human Rights | China | Epoch Times

More: Gao Zhisheng Visit Shows Chinese Security Chief’s Loss of Power


Chinese Communist Party’s Control Over Law Enforcement Under Fire

27 March, 2012 at 08:59 | Posted in China, Falun Dafa/Falun Gong, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
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Law professor and netizens call for powerful committee to be dismantled

By Charlotte Cuthbertson and Jane Lin
Epoch Times Staff

China’s Nobel nominated human rights lawyer, Gao Zhisheng, is intimately familiar with the malevolent hold the Communist Party has over every aspect China’s so-called legal system.

“The electric shock batons were thrust all over me,” recounted Gao Zhisheng. “And my full body, my heart, lungs and muscles began jumping under my skin uncontrollably. I was writhing on the ground in pain, trying to crawl away.”

In a letter published in February 2009, human rights lawyer Gao describes 50 days of torture by Chinese regime authorities, starting in September 2007.

“After a few hours of this I had no energy to even beg, let alone try to escape. But my mind was still clear. I felt my body was jerking very strongly when the baton touched me.”

Laughing, the guards taunted Gao with their prowess in torture techniques.

“Don’t you talk about torture by the Communist Party yet, because we will give you a comprehensive lesson now!” one guard told Gao. “You are correct, we torture Falun Gong. Everything is right. The 12 courses we’re going to give to you were practiced on the Falun Gong. To tell you the truth, I am not afraid that you will continue to write. We can torture you to death without your body being found.”

The guards worked under the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, an all-powerful organ of the Chinese regime that controls nearly all aspects of law enforcement. The Committee has its hands in the court system; it controls the Ministry of Justice, the Public Security Bureau, the Ministry of State Security, and the Procuratorate—the highest agency at the national level responsible for both investigation and prosecution.

Chinese Regime in CrisisClick this tag or to read about the most recent developments in the ongoing power struggle within the Chinese communist regime. Intra-CCP politics are a challenge to make sense of, even for veteran China watchers. Here we attempt to provide readers with the necessary context to understand the situation. Get the RSS feed. Get the Timeline of Events. Who are the Major PlayersChinese Regime in Crisis RSS Feed

If the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC) determines a Chinese citizen is a threat to the regime, that citizen is in trouble. Dissidents, Christians, lawyers, Falun Gong practitioners, and citizens protesting land grabs feel the sharp end of the PLAC every day. Whether is it a sham trial or a trumped-up charge under the banner of “inciting state subversion” or “revealing state secrets,” if the PLAC wants you tortured, in a prison camp, or dead, they will most likely achieve it.

Recently, Zhang Zanning, a lawyer and law professor at Southeast University in China, posted an article on his blog, saying the PLAC is the “grossest violation of the Constitution” and called for it to be dismantled.

Zhang’s article was soon removed from his blog—most likely through an Internet censor that answers to the PLAC—and he had to re-direct readers to other sites. But the article had already been reposted on many Internet forums.

Read more: Chinese Communist Party’s Control Over Law Enforcement Under Fire | Regime | China | Epoch Times

Gao Zhisheng To Serve Three Year Prison Sentence

18 December, 2011 at 12:46 | Posted in China, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
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By Matthew Robertson
Epoch Times Staff

The high-profile and galvanizing Chinese human rights figure Gao Zhisheng, held by Chinese security forces almost continually since late 2006, has been officially sentenced to prison for three years.

The announcement, carried by Communist Party mouthpiece Xinhua, is a rare acknowledgment of Gao’s existence by officials, who have repeatedly refused to answer a chorus of protest from the international community about the treatment and whereabouts of the now-renowned lawyer.

The three year term was originally handed down on Dec. 22, 2006, for “subversion,” after he wrote a series of letters to top Party leaders calling for an end to the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual group, following a career spent defending marginalized groups that got the raw end of the stick in dealings with Chinese authorities.

The sentence was suspended for a five year probationary period, and those five years are going to end next month.

Now the regime is finding a way to cloak its continued persecution of Gao in a legal facade, according to Maran Turner, Executive Director of Freedom Now, a non-profit that works to free prisoners of conscience.

“They may have come under fire, so they had to come up with a way to say he’s not dead while keeping him in custody,” Turner said in a telephone interview. “They clearly don’t want to release him, and this maybe serves that purpose… It’s bizarre.”

The recent Xinhua statement claims that Gao violated the terms of his probation, and so would serve the original sentence.

But it is unclear which of the provisions he may have violated, or how he could possibly have done so.

Article 75 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China says that a criminal whose sentence is suspended must “observe laws and… submit to supervision; report on his own activities…; observe the regulations for receiving visitors…; report to obtain approval from the observing organ for any departure from the city or county he lives in…”

Bob Fu, executive director of ChinaAid, who runs the website, said: “This is a totally unacceptable and laughable decision, because Gao has been in the custody of Chinese security forces for most of the past five years. How and when could he have committed any crime in violation of his so-called probation?”

Fu said the decision is “nothing more than persecution against a brave human rights lawyer who has already experienced so much torture and abuse.” He added: “The international community should demand Gao’s immediate release and President Obama should speak up loudly that this kind of heinous decision will not bring international respect for China.”

Gao has been in the near-constant custody of Chinese security forces since February 2009, and has been repeatedly denied visits by family. Chinese authorities have not disclosed his location. Before then, from his sentence in December 2006, he was in and out of the hands of Chinese security forces (but mostly in, according to Fu), frequently captured and held incommunicado for months before being released briefly, only to be kidnapped again.

In his 2006 memoir “A China More Just,” Gao Zhisheng says that the Communist Party uses “the most savage, most immoral, and most illegal means to torture our mothers, torture our wives, torture our children, and torture our brothers and sisters…” after he spent several months investigating the techniques of torture used by the Communist Party against adherents of Falun Gong.

Gao himself came to be on the receiving end of such torture after speaking out. At one stage during his detention in 2008, cigarettes were held to his eyes and toothpicks inserted into his genitals in a 54-day torture session he wrote about in an essay titled “Dark Night, Dark Hood And Kidnapping By Dark Mafia.”

Gao also renounced his membership in the Communist Party in December 2005, calling it an “inhumane, unjust, and evil Party.” He said renouncing the Party was the “proudest day of my life.”

via Gao Zhisheng To Serve Three Year Prison Sentence | Democracy & Human Rights | China | Epoch Times

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The Country Where the Good People are Persecuted and the Crooks Benefited

7 April, 2011 at 19:50 | Posted in China, Falun Dafa/Falun Gong, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution, slave labor camps | Leave a comment
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In China, the Chinese Communist Party persecutes good people and rewards those who do bad deeds…

The following article “A Traffic Accident, Turned Murder, Turned Social Critique” shows so clearly how much the morality has fallen in China among those in power and their supporters, and really how inverted the world is there. In China, in the state-sponsored and state-controlled television channel CCTV, they defend the offender and his crime, a murder! And it’s not the first time this happens…

Doesn’t everything fall into pieces when good ethical values ​​no longer exist that can guide people? China is a typical atheist country where the older generation still has memories of the old Chinese culture values ​​(from Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism) on how to conduct oneself. CCP (Chinese Communist Party) has done everything possible to eradicate this culture and only letting its own state-controlled version of religion be allowed, basically. CCP’s culture and mentality is in essence very evil, based on struggle and violence.

Qin Yongmin, one of the founders of the Democratic Party in Zhejiang province, said in a telephone interview with The Epoch Times: “Today’s China is full of various chaotic social phenomena with people living in total disregard of morality or integrity.” He added that a flourishing civil society will be a precondition for repairing those ills.
Zan Aizong, member of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre, a human rights and literary organization, said that in the face of cases like this stabbing, if the Communist Party does not consider justice and fairness important, then such incidents will recur. “This country is doomed if the law is not taken seriously.” Excerpt from the article below.

During the Cultural Revolution the brainwashing of the Chinese people was intense by means of violence and the struggle for the ideas of communism to be imprinted was strong. Brainwash is still one of the methods used in labor camps to “convert” people, through torture in various forms:

On October 29, 2002, Liu Boyang was sent to two years of forced labor at Chaoyanggou Labor Camp in Changchun City. In December, the police forced him to sit on cold cement floors all day long and prohibited him from sleeping at night. During the day, he was forced to attend brainwashing classes. In June 2004, when his term was over, the labor camp refused to release him and found some excuse to add 47 days to his term. Liu was a graduate of a medical university. He was a good person, and was kind to children and respectful to the elderly. Every year he was a model worker at the hospital. A woman surnamed Wang told me the above experiences of Ms. Wang and Mr. Liu so rapidly she spoke almost in one breath. Source: “We Must Immediately Stop the Brutality That Suffocates Our Nation’s Conscience and Morality” Gao Zhisheng’s third open letter to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao.

Here you can read more about the Chinese Communist Party’s evil mentality. CCP is one of the most evil regimes in the world today. Just look how they behave! And how they treat their own citizens!

A Traffic Accident, Turned Murder, Turned Social Critique

Rich kid’s stabbing of peasant highlights China’s deep social tensions

By Jeanmarie Lunsford & Matthew Robertson
Epoch Times Staff

The lurid story of how a peasant girl named Zhang Miao was stabbed eight times to death by well-to-do college junior Yao Jiaxin last year, after he struck her with his car, has turned into a wide-ranging social debate about the “rich second generation.

”The term refers to those who have benefited most from China’s Leninist-corporatist model of development, whereby those with the opportunity and connections get rich—sometimes very rich—while others are left far behind.

Editorials, blogs, and discussion forums have been buzzing with talk of what punishment should be meted out to Yao. Some say it hinges on whether he should be classed as one of the elite or not.

The Chinese state broadcaster CCTV adopted a quietly forgiving tone in its coverage, according to bloggers, in an apparent attempt to diffuse the social tensions enmeshed in the case. The trial began on March 23. Netizens then savaged the official channel for what they saw as its attempts at manipulating public opinion.

On one program, a psychologist invited to speak on CCTV commented that Yao’s stabbing the woman eight times was “repeating his movements of playing the piano when being forced to do so in the past.”

Read more: A Traffic Accident, Turned Murder, Turned Social Critique | China | Epoch Times

Chinese Regime Rebukes UN Agency for Demanding Release of Gao Zhisheng – Please Sign Petition

3 April, 2011 at 09:10 | Posted in China, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
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By Gisela Sommer
Epoch Times Staff

A spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry told a United Nations human rights group to stay out of its business in regards to the detention of the prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.

The human rights group Freedom Now revealed in a statement on Monday that the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention had asked for Gao’s immediate release. The U.N. Working Group had said the Chinese communist regime is violating international law by detaining him and is failing to meet “even the minimum international standards for due process.”

A letter by the chair of the U.N. Working Group demanding Gao’s immediate release had been forwarded to the Chinese regime on July 6, 2010.

Upon the failure of the Chinese regime to respond to the letter, the U.N. Working Group issued an Opinion on Gao’s case on November 19, 2010.

The U.N. Working Group Opinion stated: “In light of the allegations made, the Working Group would have welcomed the cooperation of the government [of China]. In the absence of any information from the government, the Working Group believes that it is in a position to render an opinion on the facts and circumstances of the cases, especially since the facts and allegations contained in the communication have not been challenged by the government.”

The Opinion goes on to say: “The detention of Mr. Gao is arbitrary because the government has not invoked any legal basis justifying his deprivation of liberty. Mr. Gao has not been formally charged with any offense under criminal law or any other Chinese law. Further, his current detention may be related to actions for which he was previously detained; in particular, his advocacy on behalf of persecuted religious groups.”

At a news conference in Beijing on March 29, spokeswoman Jian Yu said she did not know specifics about Mr. Gao’s case and told the U.N. not to interfere. Jian said that U.N. human rights mechanisms should “maintain an objective and impartial attitude and to respect China’s judicial sovereignty.”

Read more: Chinese Regime Rebukes UN Agency for Demanding Release of Gao Zhisheng | World | Epoch Times

Here you can sign a petition for the release of Gao Zhisheng!

Target: President Hu Jintao
Sponsored by:

Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has been beaten, blinded, and had his family’s safety threatened after being arrested numerous times since 2006. All because he refuses to stop fighting for freedom and human rights in China.

Freedom of speech is a fundamental right, and Gao Zhisheng and others like him have risked everything to fight for it.

In 2010, Gao Zhisheng’s was briefly released after huge international outcry about the injustice of his arrest. Only two weeks later, though, he was taken once again. Now, Gao’s wife does not even know if he is still alive. She, his children, and everyone who looked to him as a voice of freedom and justice deserve to know the truth.

Outrage from the international community made a difference for Gao before; now we must do it again. Tell the Chinese government Gao Zhisheng deserves freedom and justice.

Gao Zhisheng Wins Freedom of Expression Award

27 March, 2011 at 08:55 | Posted in China, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
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New Tang Dynasty Television

Chinese rights lawyer Gao Zhesheng has been awarded the Bindmans Law and Campaigning award at the Index on Censorship: Freedom of Expression Awards in London. Gao was being recognized for his work in representing vulnerable and persecuted groups in China.

The self-taught lawyer represented victims of medical malpractice, house Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners. In 2005, Gao publicly quit the Chinese Communist Party, and in 2007 wrote a letter to the United States Congress urging them to boycott the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, due to the Chinese regime’s abuses of human rights. The Chinese regime abducted Gao shortly afterwards, and he has been in and out of custody ever since – his current whereabouts are unknown.

Gao’s wife Geng He sent a video message to accept the award for Gao at the ceremony in London on March 24th. In her speech Geng said:

“My husband is a human rights lawyer. He resisted unbearable pressure to support his clients. He voluntarily represented the poor to the best of his ability. He never bowed to money or power; he stood up to threats from people in authority. He regarded his law profession not only a job, but also as a means to propagate fairness, to reinstate justice, and conscience. He was an attorney in great demand until the government revoked his license, closed his law firm, placed our whole family under surveillance. They even deprived my daughter of her education.”

“Since my husband’s last public appearance we have endured nearly a year of total silence. All those days, our children and I have lived with worry and anxiety. Gao’s disappearance, in the past, has synchronised with brutality and shocking torture by the state. My husband’s case is a true presentation of China’s ongoing human rights crisis.”

“On behalf of my husband Mr Gao Zhisheng, thank you Index On Censorship for this honourable award which recognises Gao for his efforts in safeguarding human rights and freedom of speech in China.”

Index on Censorship was founded in 1972 and describes itself as Britain’s leading organization promoting freedom of expression. Others who received awards on Thursday include Egyptian independent newspaper editor Ibrahim Eissa. Eissa was one of the voices calling for democratic change in the run up to the recent Egyptian revolution.

Read the original article

via Gao Zhisheng Wins Freedom of Expression Award | China | Epoch Times

Gao Zhisheng’s New Article: Speaking from My Heart

15 January, 2011 at 11:38 | Posted in China, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
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By Gao Zhisheng

Editor’s note: In 2007 the Chinese civil rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng wrote the article “Dark Night, Dark Hood, and Kidnapping by Dark Mafia,” which gives a harrowing account of 50 days of torture he endured at the hands of Chinese security agents in September, October, and November 2007.

The article was released for publication after Gao was once again arrested on Feb. 6, 2009. Gao’s wife, Geng He, recently discovered the prologue to “Dark Night,” the article “Speaking From My Heart.” She has authorized The Epoch Times to publish it for the first time in English.

Under Heaven’s watchful eye, and amidst the vast free and civilized world, there is no evil that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would shy away from or is incapable of. It is truly shocking!

Even though China possesses 1.3 billion fellow citizens, my family, bereft of support, can be so very helpless!

Before September 2007, there were only four people in China who refused to follow the Chinese Communist Party and persisted in being friends with me openly. As a result, one of them is continually followed by police; the other three were kidnapped in September and suffered brutal beatings and mental torture.

In 2008, Hu Jia, who continued to refuse to follow the orders of the CCP, was held in prison. Huang Yan was kidnapped and kept in prison with Falun Gong practitioners where she suffered cruel torture. In addition, Huang heard and witnessed that the torture Falun Gong adherents had suffered was even more terrifying. Under the intimidation of torture, no one dares to communicate with me openly in today’s China.

It is now extremely difficult for me to make my voice heard. Moreover, I am constantly in a situation of peril. For more than three years, the authorities have invested a large amount of manpower, money, as well as employed the most merciless methods, to achieve their goal of silencing me.

In November last year when I lived in a hotel, police shared the same room with me, stifling every morsel of personal freedom. They have actually achieved their purpose of turning me into an alive but pitiful human being. I often tell my wife Geng jokingly: “Six billion people live together on our global village, but our family is severed from the rest of the world.”

Outsiders may feel that my family is leading an extremely miserable life. As a matter of fact, my wife is the one who has suffered the most. I am optimistic by nature, and I believe in the Creator.

Even when I was tortured to near-death, the pain was only in the physical body. A heart that is filled with God has no room to entertain pain and suffering. I often sing along loudly with my two children, but my wife never joins us. Despite all my efforts, she still feels miserable in her heart.

The root of her suffering comes from the fact that our daughter Gege cannot go to school. Since she was forbidden to go to school, I was also in despair for a while. There is nothing more traumatizing than this. Shocked and outraged, I continuously protest to the authorities. My wife Geng is on the brink of a mental breakdown over this matter.

I’d like to take this opportunity to appeal to those friends who still enjoy a certain measure of freedom to continue to show your concern for Guo Feixiong, and to help his wife and children. When the CCP’s hired thugs are everywhere on China’s soil, when our nation’s spirit falls into an impasse, we need heroes like Guo who fight for the people.

These courageous heroes, Guo Feixiong, Hu Jia, Yang Tianshui, Chen Guangcheng, Xu Wanping, Wang Bingzhang and Guo Quan, who sacrifice and risk their lives to defend China’s freedom and belief, are the true hope of China. If we offer more help to them and their loved ones today, our children and grandchildren will not feel ashamed of us when looking back in this chapter of history.

In today’s China, we know in our hearts that kindness and moral values are getting harder to find. Hu Jia’s experience further demonstrated a harsh reality – it is not only difficult but also dangerous to be a morally righteous person.

Since ancient times, people have long believed that kindness will be repaid with kindness, and evil will be repaid with evil. However, this belief has been devastated in today’s China where the Communist Party culture has infiltrated into every order of society.

In the old days when tradition was maintained, people cherished and protected virtues and kindness. However, in today’s China, the upholding of moral values and goodness has been uprooted. The Chinese communist regime has become synonymous for immorality and evil.

Read more: Gao Zhisheng’s New Article: Speaking from My Heart | Opinion | Epoch Times

More info: AP Exclusive: Missing Chinese Lawyer Told of Abuse

Gao Zhisheng’s Friends Call for His Release – Epoch Times

Wife of missing Chinese lawyer fears for his life – The Washington Times

AP Exclusive: Missing Chinese Lawyer Told of Abuse

14 January, 2011 at 11:48 | Posted in China, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
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The Associated Press

Monday, January 10, 2011; 6:21 AM

BEIJING — The police stripped Gao Zhisheng bare and pummeled him with handguns in holsters. For two days and nights, they took turns beating him and did things he refused to describe. When all three officers tired, they bound his arms and legs with plastic bags and threw him to the floor until they caught their breath to resume the abuse.

“That degree of cruelty, there’s no way to recount it,” the civil rights lawyer said, his normally commanding voice quavering. “For 48 hours my life hung by a thread.”

The beatings were the worst he said he ever endured and the darkest point of 14 months, ending last March, during which Gao was secretly held by Chinese authorities. He described his ordeal to The Associated Press that April, but asked that his account not be made public unless he went missing again or made it to “someplace safe” like the United States or Europe.

Two weeks later, he disappeared again. His family and friends say they have not heard from him in the more than eight months since. Police agencies either declined to comment or said they did not know Gao’s whereabouts. The AP decided to publish his account given the length of his current disappearance.

Gao had been a galvanizing figure for the rights movement, advocating constitutional reform and arguing landmark cases to defend property rights and political and religious dissenters, including members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. His disappearance in 2009 set off an international outcry that may have played a role in winning his brief release last year.

Among democracy and rights campaigners, Gao appears to have been singled out for frequent, harsh punishment beyond the slim protections of China’s laws.

“It seems to be that they are afraid of Gao in a way they aren’t of others,” Maran Turner, the executive director of Freedom Now, a Washington-based group that advocates for political prisoners, Gao among them.

[...] Weeks of inactivity were punctuated by outbursts of brutality. He was hooded several times. His captors tied him up with belts, made him sit motionless for up to 16 hours and told him his children were having nervous breakdowns. They threatened to kill him and dump his body in a river.

“‘You must forget you’re human. You’re a beast,’” Gao said his police tormentors told him in September 2009.

Read more: AP Exclusive: Missing Chinese lawyer told of abuse

More info: Gao Zhisheng’s New Article: Speaking from My Heart

Gao Zhisheng Interviewee Dies Due to Torture

1 November, 2010 at 21:03 | Posted in China, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution, slave labor camps | Leave a comment
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Middle-aged woman had been detained 12 times in 11 years, subjected to repeated violence

Ms. Sun Shuxiang, emaciated from prolonged torture, photographed ten days after her release from a forced labor camp.

NEW YORK—A 53-year-old woman, whose testimony of excruciating and professionally-administered torture attorney Gao Zhisheng relayed in one of his open letters to China’s leaders, died in mid-October as a result of abuse in custody.

According to sources inside China, Ms. Sun Shuxiang, a Falun Gong practitioner from Changchun, died on October 10, four months after her release from a labor camp, where she was shocked with electric batons, injected with unidentified drugs, and forced to perform hard labor. A photo taken immediately upon her return home and smuggled out of China shows her emaciated body.

Sun is the third of Gao’s interviewees known to have subsequently been tortured to death. Gao himself has been disappeared since April 2010, with many fearing he may have been killed in custody. This past week, his teenage daughter appealed to U.S. President Barack Obama to seek information about Gao’s whereabouts in an upcoming meeting with Hu Jintao (“Please Return My Father,” Wall Street Journal)

Read more: – Gao Zhisheng Interviewee Dies Due to Torture, Photo Shows Emaciated Body

Missing Chinese Lawyer Honored With Human Rights Award

26 August, 2010 at 18:36 | Posted in China, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
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By James Burke
Epoch Times Staff

Gao Zhisheng, a missing Chinese attorney, has been honored with an international human rights award from the American Bar Association (ABA). With Mr. Gao missing in China, his 17-year-old daughter Grace accepted the International Human Rights Lawyer Award on his behalf at an event held in San Francisco on Friday, Aug. 6.

The annual award is given to lawyers well-known for taking on human rights cases and who have in turn, suffered persecution because of their efforts.

Coming from an impoverished background, Mr. Gao was self-educated and would go on to be described by Chinese officials as one of China’s ten best lawyers. A dedicated Christian, he was well known for his work in assisting China’s poor and marginalized but he met the wrath of Chinese state security once he began defending the rights of persecuted Falun Gong practitioners.

“Because of that work, his law license was taken from him in 2005,” said an ABA posting on the International Law Prof Blog. “In 2006, he was charged with subversion and sentenced to house arrest. In 2007, just before the Olympics, he wrote a letter to the US Congress to explain the human rights situation. He was arrested and reportedly tortured for a period of almost 60 days,” said the ABA posting.

“He told a journalist about that experience and said that the loss of dignity made him feel as if he was nothing but an animal. His family was also arrested and allegedly tortured. His wife and two children were able to escape from China in a harrowing journey to the U.S. Embassy in Thailand, and later arrived in the United States last year.”

Mr. Gao’s current whereabouts are unknown and there are concerns for his well-being and safety. In 2007 the English translation of his memoir A China More Just was published, and in 2007, 2008, and 2010, Mr. Gao was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In December last year ABA President Carolyn B. Lamm wrote to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton describing the conditions that lawyers face in China and asked the US State Department to step up its activities to help protect Chinese lawyers.

With more than 400,000 members the American Bar Association, is the largest voluntary professional association in the world.

Read more: Missing Chinese Lawyer Honored With Human Rights Award | Epoch Times

See also: Chinese Christian Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Confirmed Tortured

If you want to help: Help Free Gao

Chinese Rights Lawyer Disappears Again – The New York Times

5 May, 2010 at 14:51 | Posted in China, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
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Mr Gao was given a suspended sentence for subversion in 2006.

Xiyun Yang contributed reporting, and Zhang Jing contributed research.

BEIJING — Gao Zhisheng, a prominent human rights lawyer whose 13-month disappearance at the hands of Chinese security agents stirred an international outcry until he resurfaced in March, has again vanished, his friends said Friday.

Associates said Mr. Gao failed to return to a Beijing apartment on April 20 after spending more than a week in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region in western China, where he had been visiting his father-in-law. Mr. Gao telephoned his father-in-law as his plane left Urumqi, saying he would call upon his arrival in Beijing, they said.

That appeared to be his last contact with the outside world. Li Heping, another Beijing human rights lawyer and a close friend, said he had visited Mr. Gao’s apartment repeatedly, but had not found him. “No one had been there for a while,” said Mr. Li, who last went to the apartment on Thursday. “I have no idea who to call, or who has taken him.”

Others said they were sure that the government had again removed him from public view and that the authorities’ earlier decision to allow him to resurface briefly had been a ploy to try to demonstrate to the outside world that he had not been mistreated.

“Now we understand that the freedom was arranged by the authorities just for a show,” Jiang Tianyong, a Beijing lawyer and rights activist, said by telephone. “He is missing again; he is still under their control. We must continue to pay attention to his case.”

An official of Amnesty International said Friday that the organization was “seriously concerned” for Mr. Gao’s safety.

“It’s a matter of serious concern when he loses contact with his family and friends,” the organization’s deputy director for Asia and Pacific programs, Catherine Baber, said in a telephone interview from London.

Mr. Gao, whose outspoken approach has made him a contentious figure, is one of the nation’s best-known activists. He has also been a ceaseless gadfly to Chinese authorities.

In the early 2000s he earned international attention, and the government’s enmity, for his legal work on behalf of marginalized citizens, including members of underground Christian churches and practitioners of Falun Gong, the spiritual movement that Chinese authorities say is an antigovernment cabal.

After Mr. Gao sent letters to President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, accusing the government of persecuting Falun Gong members, he was stripped of his law license and sentenced to prison in late 2006 on charges of inciting subversion.

After being released, Mr. Gao said he had been tortured, adding that he had also been warned that discussing his torture publicly would result in his death.

China’s foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, denied those claims at a news conference in March. “There is no such thing as him being tortured,” he said.

Mr. Gao and his family were under constant surveillance and harassment after his release. Early last year his wife and two children escaped from China, eventually gaining asylum in the United States.

Mr. Gao disappeared shortly afterward. Despite pleas from the United States, the European Union and the United Nations, he was not seen again until he appeared in March at a Buddhist monastery in northern China.

In a telephone interview then with The New York Times, he said he had given up his work as a human rights defender and merely sought “to calm down and lead a quiet life.”

He refused to say whether he had suffered mistreatment while in captivity. In an April 7 interview with The Associated Press, he said simply, “I don’t have the capacity to persevere.”

But The South China Morning Post, based in Hong Kong, which first reported Mr. Gao’s disappearance on Friday, said in an article that he had been “quite outspoken” during an April 6 interview in his Beijing apartment, despite the near certainty that security agents were recording his conversation.

But the article said he had asked that details of his treatment by the authorities while in captivity not be made public. “If this is reported,” he was quoted as saying, “I’ll disappear again.”

via Chinese Rights Lawyer Disappears Again – The New York Times

More articles: BBC News – China dissident lawyer Gao Zhisheng ‘missing again’.

Human Rights Lawyers on Defense in China

28 April, 2010 at 08:11 | Posted in China, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
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Petitioners react as Chinese policemen attempt to remove them from the vicinity of the courtroom where a hearing in the case against Chinese human rights lawyers Tang Jitian and Liu Wei was taking place in Beijing on April 22, 2010.

With reporting by Jessie Jiang / Beijing

[...] The two lawyers faced a four-hour hearing at the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice Thursday, which ended without a ruling. It could be weeks before their cases are decided. Witnesses say police removed supporters who had gathered outside the Bureau of Justice before the hearing this morning. In an interview, Liu said that some of her legal representatives were also blocked from attending the hearing. “They never presented us with a single piece of evidence until the hearing this morning,” she says. “And even then, we were only allowed to glance over the materials briefly, let alone making photocopies of them. Everything they have done remains in the dark. They are afraid of revealing the truth. I have no faith whatsoever in the fairness of the court.”

While China has been praised for its efforts to develop a comprehensive legal system over the past 30 years, it still remains firmly under the control of the ruling Communist Party. When lawyers handle cases than run against the Party’s interests, they can quickly find themselves in trouble. The past year has been tough for Chinese lawyers who take on cases that touch on sensitive issues of religion, workers’ rights and corruption. In June 2009, more than a dozen leading human rights lawyers’ licenses expired after their renewal applications — usually considered a formality — were blocked, which the lawyers said was meant to prevent them from doing their jobs. Nearly one year later, at least six of those lawyers, including Tang and Liu saw, are still trying to get their licenses renewed by the Beijing Lawyers Association.

In January lawyer Li Zhuang, who had been representing a mob boss on trial as part of a massive crackdown on organized crime in the southwestern city of Chongqing, was convicted of falsifying evidence and obstructing justice. Observers raised many questions about Li’s trial, and suggested that he may have been punished for undermining the popular and high-profile police campaign.

And in March, lawyer Gao Zhisheng surfaced after disappearing more than a year earlier, presumably into the custody of China’s state security apparatus. Gao, an aggressive attorney who was once named one of China’s top 10 lawyers by the Ministry of Justice, was convicted of subversion in 2006 after he wrote an open letter to China’s leaders describing the torture of Falun Gong followers. In an interview with the Associated Press after his reappearance, Gao said that he wanted to give up his legal work and hoped to see his family, who fled to the U.S. in 2009 and were granted political asylum.

Teng Biao, a lawyer who is representing Tang and Liu, says the case against the pair is yet another worrying sign. “This investigation sends a clear message,” he says. “Chinese rights defense lawyers are likely to face an increasingly repressive environment in the near future.” Human rights and legal experts say the campaign against lawyers could harm China’s efforts to develop an independent legal system. “We feel like the Beijing Justice bureau has misused the law in order to harass the two lawyers, and we feel very angry about that,” says Patrick Poon, executive secretary of the Hong Kong-based China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group. “This could have a very bad impact on the legal profession in China.”

Read more: Human Rights Lawyers on Defense in China – TIME.

More articles: Defense of Falun Gong Practitioners to Cost Chinese Lawyers Their Licenses

Human Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Hushed Up but Still Alive!

9 April, 2010 at 13:28 | Posted in China, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
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The Chinese regime finally managed to hush the human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng up, through terror. But happily, he’s still alive!

For a long time I’ve  had an intention to write about this brave man, Gao Zhisheng. I thought that perhaps CCP had killed him, since the Chinese regime almost killed him before through brutal torture. Gao has described this in his open letter. After the letter was published he once again was captured by CCP, that then stated that Gao had “disappeared”. Since then the concerns have been great internationally for Gao Zhisheng, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2008, and the questions many about his whereabouts. His family fled to USA 2009.

Gao’s First Letter to CCP’s Leaders: An Open Letter to China’s National Peoples’ Congress

Gao Zhisheng’s second open letter about the persecution of Falun Gong: Stop Persecuting Believers of Freedom and Mend Your Ties with the Chinese People

Gao Zhisheng’s third open letter to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao: Why One of China’s Top Attorneys Broke with the Communist Party

Gao Zhisheng Sends Another Open Letter Protesting Unjust Treatment: Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao: Please Answer the Following Questions

Gao Zhisheng’s Open Letter to the United States Congress

Chinese Human Rights Attorney Recounts Torture: Dark Night, Dark Hood and Kidnapping by Dark Mafia, my account of more than 50 days of torture in 2007

Gao Zhisheng: ‘Such Evilness Can Exist in China Today’

Book: “A China More Just” – Story of Lawyer Gao Zhisheng

Other articles:
Reappearance of Missing Chinese Human Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Raises Doubts

Photo Shows Signs of Torture of Reappeared Chinese Human Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng

Wikipedia: about Gao Zhisheng


Gao Zhisheng Resurfaces, Says He Quits

Epoch Times
By Matthew Robertson

During a meeting with Associated Press reporters in a Beijing teahouse on April 7, human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng said he was giving up his activism against the Chinese Communist Party in the hopes of being able to contact, and possibly reunite with, his family in the future.

It was the first interview since he was reported to have reappeared two weeks ago. Then, he made and received a series of phone calls with journalists and supporters while reportedly staying on Wutai Shan, a mountain retreat. That was the first intimation that his status as a political prisoner may change.

Before then, Gao had been abducted by Chinese security forces in February 2009 and held incommunicado since. Gao, initially lauded by the Chinese establishment for his legal work, attracted the ire of the CCP for becoming steadily more involved in cases deemed politically sensitive to the communist authorities. This culminated in a series of letters he wrote to the country’s leaders condemning what he regarded as the barbaric persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice, following his own investigation of the issue in the north of China.

AP suggests in its report that the recent meeting may have been devised by the authorities to allay concerns about Gao’s mental and physical health.

Gao’s case has been unusual in how the communist authorities have done little to attempt to show observers that he has been treated in accordance with the law. His 14 months of disappearance and detention remained largely unacknowledged by officials, except for a string of inconsistent and sometimes apocryphal statements.

In 2007 when Gao was abducted, he reported being subjected to electric shocks to the genitals, and having lit cigarettes held to his eyes. He wrote in a graphic letter outlining the ordeal, which lasted 50 days, that he tried to kill himself by slamming his head onto a table to end the suffering, but was unsuccessful.

“I don’t have the capacity to persevere”, Gao is reported to have said to AP in the recent meeting. “On the one hand, it’s my past experiences. It’s also that these experiences greatly hurt my loved ones. This ultimate choice of mine, after a process of deep and careful thought, is to seek the goal of peace and calm,” he said.

Gao was unwilling to talk about the conditions of his freedom or lack thereof, nor how he had been treated while in unofficial custody.

via Epoch Times – Gao Zhisheng Resurfaces, Says He Quits.

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