By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
WASHINGTON, DC (ANS) — Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng was taken by a dozen police officers and last seen in public on February 4, 2009.
Gao Zhisheng’s wife Geng He, daughter Geng Ge (16) and son Gao Tianyu (5). (ChinaAid photo).
Gao Zhisheng has been repeatedly kidnapped, arrested, imprisoned and tortured by Chinese authorities for defending the persecuted. He has been an unyielding voice for justice in the Chinese courts.
ChinaAid (www.ChinaAid.org ) recently confirmed that Attorney Gao is alive, allegedly released on parole, though his condition and whereabouts are still unknown.
Since mid-July, the petition to free Gao Zhisheng has recorded over 110,000 signatures, calling for his release from the custody of the Chinese government.
According to a ChinaAid contact, Press Secretary Baodong from the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC recently asserted that Gao Zhisheng was officially held on charges for attacking the Chinese government, and was released on parole in August. Inside resources with ChinaAid can confirm that Gao is alive, but his condition and whereabouts are still unknown.
On September 8, 2009, eleven Members of the US House of Representatives issued a letter to President Hu Jintao of the People’s Republic of China, requesting him to uphold rule of law in China, according to the Chinese Constitution and their international agreements.
Congressional letter to Chinese President Hu JIntao. (ChinaAid photo) Caption Three: ChinaAid president Bob Fu and Gao Zhisheng’s wife Geng He present the first installment of the petition with more than 50,000 signatures to Senator Byron Dorgan. (ChinaAid photo)
The bipartisan letter, signed among others by Congressmen Frank Wolf and Chris Smith, specifically addresses the prolonged absence of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng. View the Congressional Letter to President Hu Jintao at www.ChinaAid.org.
In a media release, ChinaAid says: “We thank all FreeGao supporters for your concerns and contributions, and ask that you continue to raise awareness of Gao’s case until he is freed, with his full rights as a Chinese citizen lawfully restored. While the Chinese government has verbally decided to acknowledge the case, there can be no resolution with his absence and unknown condition still weighing on the minds and hearts of his supporters.
“Thanks to your help, ChinaAid has persisted in meeting and working with concerned officials from governments of the free world, presenting the petition signatures as a sign of international support — and Gao Zhisheng’s case has not been forgotten.”
ChinaAid says Gao’s story of persecution is only one of many. But it is also a key story in exposing the truth behind China’s Communist regime and its abuse of human rights.
ChinaAid says The Free Gao Campaign will continue gathering petition signatures and presenting them to authorities, and will not relent until Gao’s whereabouts and safety are known.
Below is the wording of the petition addressed to the attention to Chinese Ambassador Mr. Zhou Wenzhong.
“We are aware that Chinese authorities have detained Christian attorney Gao Zhisheng since February 4, 2009. He was at the home of relatives in his hometown in Shaanxi province when more than a dozen Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers forcibly took him away. He is being held at an undisclosed location.
“Gao Zhisheng is a 2008 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Chinese army veteran and prominent Christian attorney. He cares deeply for the nation of China, and is a loyal citizen. Since 2005, Gao has been repeatedly kidnapped, arrested, imprisoned and tortured by Chinese authorities for his work defending those persecuted for their faith. He, his wife and two children have been monitored and tormented by authorities for more than two years.
“We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about Gao Zhisheng’s welfare and why he is being detained. This act of arbitrary detention itself is in violation of Chinese law.
“We are praying for the leaders of China and formally request that you release Gao Zhisheng immediately. Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.”
To see the latest information, latest signature totals on the petition, photos and more, go to www.FreeGao.com .