Saturday, December 17, 2011

New Developments in Gao Zhisheng Case

Amnesty International has issued a press release deploring the latest developments in the case of 'disappeared' and now it seems, imprisoned, Chinese human rights lawyer, Gao Zhisheng,
Following Chinese state media reports that Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng violated probation and will be sent back to prison, Catherine Baber, Asia-Pacific deputy director at Amnesty International issued the following statement: 
"This is truly shocking news. We have not heard from Gao Zhisheng in 20 months - his family has not known if he is dead or alive and now the authorities send out a cryptic announcement that his so-called probation has been revoked. 
"There is nothing lawful about the way the authorities have handled Gao Zhisheng's case. The authorities have tortured Gao Zhisheng, subjected him to 20 months enforced disappearance, held him captive and separated him from his family, causing unbelievable stress to his loved ones. This inhumane treatment must stop. He has suffered enough. His family has suffered enough. He must be freed. 
"The authorities’ belated attempt to cast a veneer of legality over their treatment of Gao Zhisheng is truly shameful. Through a combination of illegal house arrest followed by enforced disappearance, Gao Zhisheng has already been captive for nearly double his original 'suspended' sentence. 
"The international community, diplomats, politicians and others have made Gao Zhisheng a high priority case in meetings with Chinese officials. But this has not been enough. We urge the international community to continue to press the Chinese government for Gao's release. The international community must not let up in their condemnation of this travesty of justice."
The U.S. Department of State also expressed concern regarding this news at it's Friday press briefing.  The Washington Post reported that Gao's brother suggested that the news raised more questions about where he has been and where they are sending him, while his wife, Geng He's reaction was relief that he was alive. Unfortunately, with so little information available, it's difficult to completely rule out his death and we must continue to press for more details about his whereabouts and health condition and demand his immediate release. Take action online now.
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