Target: Government of China
Goal: Urge the Chinese government to free human rights lawyer from detainment in China
Gao Zhisheng is a human rights attorney who is currently being jailed and tortured by the Chinese government for defending the rights of persecuted Falun Gong practitioners in China. Born in Shaanxi, China, Gao has worked throughout his career to defend the rights of various individuals and groups in China, including factory workers, journalists, and victims of land seizure. He was once named as one of China’s ten best lawyers by the China’s Ministry of Justice in 2001.
In 2005, Gao took on the case of defending the rights of practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice based on the principles of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance that is being persecuted in China today. He wrote an open letter to the leaders of the Chinese government, condemning their use of brainwash centers and calling for the end of persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
Gao was arrested by the Chinese government in 2006 and sentenced for three years. During the period of his arrest, he was chosen for the Courageous Advocacy Award in 2007 from the American Board of Trial Advocates, though he was forbidden to leave the country to receive his award in Santa Barbara, California.
Gao was again kidnapped in 2009 and experienced long periods of brutal torture until found freed at Wutai Mountain in March 2010. In April 2010, he was once again taken away by police while visiting his in-laws in Urumqi; reports in 2012 claim that he is detained at a prison in Xinjiang, China, but his condition is unknown.
By signing the petition below you will help urge the Chinese government to free Gao Zhisheng and to protect his rights to free speech as he speaks in defense of persecuted groups in China.
To the Government of China:
Since 2005, the Chinese government has repeatedly arrested, sentenced, and persecuted Gao Zhisheng, a human rights lawyer who has spoken up in defense of Falun Gong practitioners and various other groups in China. We learned in 2012 that he is detained at a prison in Xinjiang, China, and evidence suggests that he is still experiencing brutal torture.
Gao Zhisheng is a brave man whose actions are a symbol of righteousness and hope for people all over the world. There is absolutely no justification for persecuting someone defending the rights of Falun Gong practitioners, whose practices harm no one and actually bring benefits to the society through their cultivation of virtue and character.
I urge your government to free lawyer Gao Zhisheng and to stop the repression of human rights activists in China. Freedom of speech and publication are fundamental rights and taking those things away is a terrible crime.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credits: The Epoch Times (Velká Epocha) via Wikimedia Commons