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CHINA: Beijing Olympics ends, Violations of Human Rights still ongoing


Human Rights Without Frontiers Int'l
August 25, 2008

conference at the Palais de Justice in Brussels on 26 August at 11 h 45
Call on freeing lawyer Gao Zhisheng A conscience in China

25.08.2008 - Amnesty International stated in its report, published ten days before the opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics, that the Chinese authorities have broken their promise to improve the country's Human Rights situation and betrayed the core values of the Olympics.

Among various cases of Human Right abuse during the Olympics, a prominent Chinese Human Right defender, Atty. Gao Zhisheng, a 44-years-old self-made lawyer, voted "one of the country's 10 best lawyers" by China's Ministry of Justice in 2001, disappeared since last year. He is a victim of the Game's "security" in the eyes of the Chinese communist regime, and his family was removed from his home in Beijing recently. No one currently knows where he is.

Regarded as a conscience in China, Gao Zhisheng had been defending Chinese citizen against Human Rights abuses, religious persecution, especially Falun Gong, corruption, environmental degradation and land appropriation committed by the Chinese communist regime which, as a result, suspended his license in 2005. Since then, he and his family have been under arrest in their home submitted to continuous harassment, as widely reported by Amnesty International, Human Right Watch, and various Parliaments' resolutions.

According to various sources, on Sept. 22 2007, Gao was taken from his home by the police. He suffered cruel physical and psychological tortures, including being stripped naked, attacked with electric batons and deprived of sleep, the same methods used on Falun Gong adherents.

As Beijing Olympics ends, Friends of Gao Zhisheng, Human Right Without Frontiers and other organizations, politicians, led by a Belgian lawyer Me. Georges-Henri Beauthier, will submit a letter to Mr. Robert DE BAERDEMAECKER, chief of the Brussels' Bar association, in order to request support and action from the Belgian and European Bars to rescue their Chinese colleague, attorney Gao Zhisheng.

It has becom urgent to emphasize that continuous actions are needed, especially after the Beijing Olympics.

A press briefing is scheduled at 11:45, "Salle des pas perdus" of Brussels' Palais de Justice, Tuesday, August 26, 2008, before going to the first floor, in order to give Mr. DE BAERDEMAECKER the request letter

Background:

On August 15 2006, Gao Zhisheng was arrested and then tortured. He spent 600 hours in handcuffs. After more than 3 months in detention without trial, on Dec 22, 2006 Gao was sentenced to a three-year suspended prison sentence for "inciting subversion". After he returned back to his family, Gao, with his wife, their daughter and son, has been in 24 hour house arrest, supervised and harassed by 20 policemen.

According to information sources, on Sept. 22 2007, Gao was taken from his home by police, right after his 16-page open letter was sent to the United States Congress, in which he expressed his deep concerns over the worsening deterioration of human rights in China, especially innocent Falun Gong adherents, ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. His wife and children were under tight control and heavy threat by the authorities, and continuously assaulted.

Gao received different human rights awards: on December 6 2006, the Human Rights Fighter Award from the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Watch Charitable Trust; 2007 Courageous Advocacy Award by the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA); on June 28 2007, the Austrian Bruno Kreisky prize for human rights.

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