Investigation requested for missing human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng

VOM partner ChinaAid formally requested a special UN investigation into the torture of missing Christian lawyer Gao Zhisheng on August 15, the five-year anniversary of his first kidnapping by police. The request was submitted by ChinaAid’s legal counsel and was filed with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.

Human rights lawyer Gao was taken by police on August 15, 2006, from his sister’s home and held incommunicado until the Chinese government announced on September 21 that he was being charged with inciting subversion (for more information, click here).

In March 2010, a group of human rights specialists filed a petition before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which resulted in the discovery of serious wrongdoing by the Chinese government. However, Chinese authorities failed to even reply to the UN enquiry. Those involved were told that Gao’s case is a matter of China’s internal affairs, adding that the country is under rule of law. (Source, VoM Canada)

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Quote  from ChinaAid statement:

“China’s shocking treatment of Mr. Gao is unconscionable and cannot be reconciled with China’s desire for international respect and recognition,” said Commission Chairman Representative Chris Smith. “It has now been five years since authorities abducted Mr. Gao on August 15, 2006, escalating their brutal repression of Gao and his family. Since then Mr. Gao has been tortured, threatened with death, sentenced to prison, and forcibly ‘disappeared,'” Smith said.

“Mr. Gao has been missing in China since April 2010, with no word as to his health or whereabouts. His wife and two children have fled to the United States. Mr. Gao’s life is clearly in danger, and the conspicuous silence only raises more questions about his fate,” said Commission Cochairman Senator Sherrod Brown. “These are not the acts of a country based on the rule of law. The Chinese government wants a seat at the table of world powers, but its repression of human rights cannot be tolerated. We cannot turn a blind eye to its brutal repression of those who seek universal rights of freedom and justice.”

Under both Chinese and international law, China is obligated to assure Mr. Gao’s safety, free him immediately, and let him resume his important work of defending the rights of his fellow citizens.

Read the whole statement HERE.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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