Target: Chinese Minister of Justice, Wu Aiying
Goal: The release of Gao Zhiseng, a human rights lawyer being held for his efforts to improve China’s judicial system
Gao Zhiseng, a noted human rights attorney and two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, was taken from his home in China by a dozen police officers in February 2009. Zhiseng then disappeared for more than a year. He was reportedly tortured because of his efforts to defend the persecuted and his constant demands for equality in the Chinese judicial system.
Zhiseng became an enemy of the Chinese government for his determination to defend groups unpopular with the country’s leaders, such as human rights activists who questioned the government and members of religious minorities. He fought many cases against the state, and won more than a few of them. He survived an alleged assassination attempt in 2006, and was thereafter the recipient of constant death threats. His unpopularity was no secret, and in 2009, he disappeared for over a year.
The Chinese government gave false reports of his death, and then reported that he was alive and could see his family and friends in March 2010. Zhiseng spent a month in relative freedom, visiting loved ones across the country. It was obvious that his every move was being watched, however, and when Zhiseng gave public addresses, he spoke guardedly. He appeared to be a free man until he disappeared again in April 2010 after claiming he was flying home to Beijing. He never boarded his flight, and has not been seen since.
While Zhiseng’s whereabouts are unknown, it is certain that he faces constant danger as long as he is in the possession of the Chinese government. He is being unfairly detained because of his efforts to increase justice and equality, and he must be freed.
Dear Minister Aiying,
Human Rights Lawyer Gao Zhiseng possesses controversial opinions on the way China should operate, but he has made a concrete effort to help improve the country. He has China’s best interests at heart, and he illustrates this by working for the good of all people. He advocates for equality and for justice, and he deserves the ability to work for those ideals.
The international community has been demanding Zhiseng’s release for years. It is time that this peaceful man be freed and reunited with his family. His release will only be seen favorably by the world at large, and China will be applauded for allowing this man to continue working towards human rights. I urge you to free Gao Zhiseng once and for all, and allow him to see his family and continue his work for a greater China.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Voice of America