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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Human Rights Activist Slowly, Torturously Destroyed by Chinese Government

From the office of Jared Genser, international lawyer for Gao Zhisheng


Wife Geng He Calls on President Obama and Secretary Kerry to Press for Allowing Gao to Come to the United States for Medical Treatment
Gao Zhisheng

As China opens up becoming a powerful player on the world financial scene, its human rights record, like an old 33LP keeps skipping back to the hardcore communism of Mao Zedong where civil rights are an affront to the Party and Christianity is a western conspiracy.

Because of his Christian faith, Gao Zhisheng, a lawyer, often represented people abused by the government and often won. He was so good that the government called him one of China's 10 best lawyers in 2001. He even fought for the rights of Falun Gong, a non-Christian religious sect.

Before long his political enemies had made it difficult for him to practice and his activism became more overt. There were many threats and at least one attempt on his life. He was first arrested in 2006 and has been in and out of prison ever since - more in than out. When out he was usually under house arrest, often at his sister's. 

Each imprisonment came with torture. During one arrest he endured ten days of torture that involved appalling beatings, abuse with electric batons, and the insertion of toothpicks into very sensitive parts of his body, followed by weeks of emotional torture.

Oft times he would simply disappear as government officials claimed they knew nothing about him. Sometimes he was missing for a year or more. I find this to be disturbingly immature for a world power in the 21st century.

This week comes this unfortunate word from China Aid News:

Washington, D.C.: On August 7, 2014, Chinese authorities released renowned Chinese human-rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng. He is now staying with his wife's sister in Xinjiang, under a round-the-clock watch by Chinese security officials.

Since his release, the family has now learned some terrible details about how he was treated in prison. From the time of his reappearance in Shaya prison in December 2011, Gao was held in a small cell, with minimal light, 24-7-365. Guards were strictly instructed not to speak with him. He was not allowed any reading materials, television, or access to anyone or anything. He was fed a single slice of bread and piece of cabbage, once a day; as a result, he has lost roughly 22.5 kg (50 pounds) and now weighs about 59 kg (130 pounds). He has lost many teeth from malnutrition.

It is believed he was also repeatedly physically tortured. Unfortunately, it is hard to get much more than basic information from him. Gao has been utterly destroyed. He can barely talk — and only in very short sentences — most of the time he mutters and is unintelligible. It is believed he is now suffering from a broad range of physical and mental health problems; he has not been allowed to see a doctor since his release.

After speaking with him and hearing from her family about Gao's immense suffering, Geng He commented: "I am completely devastated by what the Chinese government has done to my husband. The only thing I feared more than him being killed was his suffering relentless and horrific torture and being kept alive. 

My children and I have been lucky to have had the protection of the United States since we arrived here in March 2009. We desperately need help from our adopted country and from President Obama and Secretary Kerry personally to demand the Chinese government to allow my husband to come to the United States for medical treatment. If President Xi Jinping has any sense of decency or humanity, after crushing my husband both physically and psychologically, the least he could do is allow me as a devoted wife to care for him."

Gao’s international lawyer Jared Genser further added: "I am heartbroken for Geng He and her family. We knew that if Gao wasn’t killed, he would have suffered immensely. But the situation is far worse than my limited imagination enabled me to contemplate. While China is a great power in the 21st century, the inhumanity and brutality that it has demonstrated by the torture of Gao Zhisheng shows its profound insecurity and fear of anyone in its population who stands up to its repression."

Such insecurity and fear are the hallmarks of communism. It was built on national paranoia that keeps leadership constantly in fear of some non-communist state coming in and waking up the masses.

Please pray for Gao and his family.