Target: President of China Xi Jiping
Goal: Denounce the treatment of human rights lawyer who was secretly detained and tortured for years
Gao Zhisheng, a human rights lawyer who defended religious minorities in China, was recently released from jail after three years. Although he is now free, the treatment he received while in prison has left him malnourished, “basically unintelligible,” and “utterly destroyed.”
In 2001, Mr. Gao was named one of China’s top ten lawyers by the Ministry of Justice. Specifically, he worked defending Christians and a spiritual group named Falun Gong. In November 2005, his license was revoked and a year later he was sentenced to house arrest for “inciting subversion of the state.” In 2007, he was taken from his home and was tortured for six weeks. He was violently beaten, electrocuted, and experienced partial blindness. In 2009, Mr. Gao disappeared completely and was tortured and secretly detained. Two years later, the government said he was to serve three years in jail for failing to meet the requirements of his probation. Finally, in 2014, Mr. Gao has been released.
As a result of his time in jail, Mr. Gao has lost all his teeth and suffers from physical and psychological abuse. When his wife, Geng He, spoke to him she was “completely devastated” by her husband’s condition. For this reason, Ms. He wants the Chinese government to allow her husband to travel to the United States where she has been living with their two children since 2009. In the U.S., Mr. Gao will be able to receive the treatment he needs.
Mr. Gao is proof that the rule of law is still missing in China. By signing the petition below, you will condemn China for its violation of basic human rights and call upon the President to stop these gross violations in the future.
Dear President Xi Jiping,
Gao Zhisheng devoted his life to protecting the rights of others and in return he was stripped of his own. In 2009, Mr. Gao disappeared without any signs of a criminal trial and no evidence of “inciting subversion of the state.” Although he has been released after three years in prison, he is broken.
Rule of law guarantees that everyone remains equal under the law, including government officials. However, the harassment experienced by Mr. Gao in 2005 and the subsequent torture experienced up until his release are horrific human rights violations. The Chinese government should not use the law as a tool to achieve personal goals. As a result, I condemn the actions taken against Mr. Gao and hope those who were involved in his detainment are punished. Do not allow these violations of human rights to continue in your country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Inside.com via BBC