Monday, August 15, 2011
China: CSW Calls for Release of Gao Zhiseng
The missing Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng’s 2006 probationary sentence for “subversion of state power” is due to expire on 14 August. He has not been heard from for almost 18 months and repeated inquiries to the Chinese authorities have not been met with a response, says a Christian Solidarity Worldwise release. Gao Zhisheng was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and five years’ probation in 2006. In a letter to Gao, published by China Aid, his wife Geng He wrote, “This August 14 is the last day of the probation period and should be the date when you regain freedom. I am looking forward to this day and to hearing your voice and to our family being reunited. The whole family looks forward to this day!” The prominent self-taught lawyer, twice-nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, first went missing on 4 February 2009. Following a brief reappearance in March 2010, Gao went missing again on 20 April as he travelled home to Beijing after visiting relatives in Xinjiang province. He reported being subject to severe torture in detention and there are grave concerns for his health and wellbeing.