Free Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Now
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Mr. Gao Zhisheng (高智晟), who is dubbed “the Conscience of China”, is a Chinese human rights lawyer renowned both in China and abroad. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times (in 2007, 2008 and 2010). Mr. Gao had a successful legal practice in Beijing and was praised by the Ministry of Justice as one of China’s top-ten lawyers. At the height of his career, he persisted in taking on legal cases that challenged the regime, such as land confiscation cases, medical malpractice, and the persecution of underground churches.
He began to represent persecuted Falun Gong practitioners and wrote three open letters urging the head of China to end the persecution in 2005. Officials shut down his law firm and disbarred him from the legal profession in November 2005.
Mr. Gao was kidnapped, tortured and imprisoned over an eight-year period starting in 2006. He was release from prison on August 7, 2014, but continues to be harassed and is under constant surveillance. He suffers both physically and mentally from years of mistreatment and is in need immediate medical care. Please sign the petition to help bring Mr. Gao to the United States.
A History of Kidnapping, Torture and Imprisonment
Chinese police kidnapped Mr. Gao in 2006, and he was sentenced to three years and then put on probation. Four days before his probation was due to expire at the end of 2011, the regime extended his sentence three years, and Mr. Gao was secretly transferred to the Shaya Prison in a remote area of Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang.
Mr. Gao published an open letter titled, “Dark Night, Dark Hood, and Kidnapping by the Dark Mafia” in 2009, that described 50 days of torture he had suffered in 2007, including electric shocks to his genitals, cigarette smoke blown into his eyes until they were swollen shut, and toothpicks inserted into his genitals.
Mr. Gao was abducted six different times from 2006 to 2011, and experienced unimaginable physical and psychiatric tortures, some of which he refuses to reveal.
Authorities detained Mr. Gao in a military facility basement room for 20 months from April 2010 to December 2011, as punishment for exposing to the public his mistreatment to the public. Dressed only in summer clothes, he endured unbearable cold, day after day, in a room without heat. He nearly died after being repeatedly pistol-whipped on his bare body for a period lasting two days and two nights.
At Shaya Prison, where he was held from 2011-2014, he was locked in a tiny room with no windows, no ventilation, and no human contact. Communication was forbidden and he was not allowed to read for the entire duration of his detention. He was given one meal a day consisting of a single steamed bun and a bowl of boiled cabbage.
Physically and mentally devastated from years of mistreatment, the man once known as “the Conscience of China”, speaks unintelligibly and is slow to respond to others. Denied critical medical care, many of his teeth have fallen out and nerve damage keeps him in constant pain. Mr. Gao needs urgent humanitarian attention now.
He has sacrificed everything, including his life, to uphold freedom of belief and basic human rights. Please sign the petition to help bring Mr. Gao to the United States so that he can receive lifesaving medical care and be reunited with his family.
"Transcending Fear: The Story of Gao Zhisheng", a documentary about Mr. Gao's life can be viewed for free for our petition signers, from vimeo.com/ondemand/transcendingfear, with the discount code FREEDOM.
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