Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tattered Remnants #026: Gao Zhisheng


(Read all about the Tattered Remnants by clicking {here}.)

Gao Zhisheng is a self-taught human rights lawyer. He resigned from the Chinese Communist Party in 2007 in protest to their treatment of the Falun Gong and of Chinese Christians, who continue to be severely persecuted under the rule of the Chinese communist party. He disappeared a little over one year ago.

He made a career, between 1989 and 2007, of first, defending individuals against incompetently run public companies, and later, defending individuals accused of participating in Falun Gong or Christian church-related activities.

Once more, Wikipedia:

Amnesty International alleged on January 17, 2006 that Gao narrowly escaped an assassination attempt, planned as a traffic accident ordered by Chinese secret police. On February 4, 2006, Gao, together with Hu Jia and other activists, launched a “Relay Hunger Strike for Human Rights,” whereby different activists and citizens fasted for 24 hours in rotation. The hunger strike was joined by people in 29 provinces, as well as overseas, though several participants were arrested for joining.

On August 15, 2006, after numerous death threats and continued harassment, while visiting his sister's family, Mr. Gao was abducted by the Chinese secret police without any legal proceedings. On September 21, 2006, he was "officially" arrested. On December 22, 2006, Mr. Gao was convicted of "subversion", and was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended, and placed on probation for five years. The sentence also deprives him of his political rights - the freedom to publish or speak out against the government - for one year. He had publicly confessed to a number of errors. On his liberation, Gao recanted his confession and described torture he experienced during his 54 days in custody. He also said captors threatened he would be killed if he spoke publicly about the matter. In chapter 6 of his memoirs written in 2006, Gao criticised the CCP for employing "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…". He formally renounced his membership of "this inhumane, unjust, and evil Party", declaring it "the proudest day of my life."

On June 2, 2007, Gao was beaten by a national security officer after he complained about officers assaulting his wife. On June 24, 2007, Gao was kidnapped by the Chinese government in order to prevent him from attending an award ceremony in the United States. The American Board of Trial Advocates selected Gao to receive the prestigious Courageous Advocacy Award; they had invited him to receive the award personally in Santa Barbara, California on June 30, 2007.

In the fall of 2007, Gao’s memoir A China More Just was published in English in the United States.

On September 22, 2007, after writing open letters to Vice-President of the European Parliament, Edward McMillan-Scott, and then to US Congress calling for a boycott of the Olympics,[17] Gao was once again taken away from his home, where he had been under house arrest, by Chinese secret police. A letter from Gao revealed he endured ten days of torture that involved beatings, electric prods and even toothpicks to his naked body, followed by weeks of emotional torture. Gao wrote that his torturers said his case had become personal with uncles in the state security apparatus after he had repeatedly publicised previous mistreatment.

A dramatic reenactment of what he endured follows. Warning: Not for children or the meek.

He disappeared again a little over a year ago, on February 4, 2009. He has not been seen since; his detention this long without charge is illegal even under Chinese Communist law--assuming he still lives.

You can find out more about Gao Zhisheng by {{{clicking here}}}.

Let us consider his final words to us:

"I leave you with this thought: the increased level of confidence of the Chinese Communist Party in the treating of its people with cold blooded brutality and cruelty is the direct result of our silence."

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