Free Gao Zisheng: Human Rights Advocate is briefly released by the Chinese government and then ‘disappeared’ a second time.


Some of you may remember our last post on Gao Zhisheng back in February. This Chinese lawyer made a career defending those oppressed by China’s atheistic government. From members of the underground Christian Church to Falun Gong adherents, Gao Zhisheng was a defender of the persecuted and was persecuted as well. But after two stays in prison failed to daunt this courageous activist, the Chinese government disappeared him in early 2009. At that time we had no way of knowing if this valiant advocate for human rights was alive or dead. Instead of arresting him on trumped up–but public–charges the Chinese government simply held him incommunicado for over a year.

Then he was released on April 6 and allowed two weeks of meager freedom before being ‘disappeared’ once again by Chinese security forces. This man was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. He won the 2010 Lawyer of the Year Award conferred by the American Bar Association. The Award had to be accepted by Grace Geng, Gao Zhisheng’s 17-year old daughter, because her father was being held incommunicado and without cause. For the Chinese government to flaunt the victim of their imprisonment and torture before the world stage and then again violate his rights is an act of overwhelming arrogance.

This outrageous violation of international and even Chinese domestic law is drawing a response from governments, human rights organization, and media outlets all over the world. Our own Congress sent a letter protesting these human rights abuses and asking President Obama to call China to account for their actions. The agonizing human drama has also drawn high level media attention. The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial written by Grace Geng which contained this quote:

“If the Chinese government has murdered my father, I beg President Obama to ask President Hu to let us bury him. I am 17 now. I’m old enough to understand that it might be better for my father to be dead than for him to undergo more unspeakable torture. But for my brother, Peter, who is only seven, not knowing whether our father is alive or dead is an unfathomable cruelty. I can hardly stand to hope that Peter and I will see our father again.”

The courage of those words does further credit to this young lady’s father, but it is heartbreaking to hear such words from a 17-year old girl. We must pray for this family and for this man who is guilty of nothing but the inability to see injustice and do nothing. And perhaps by God’s grace we will be able to see this family receive back their father.