conference at the Palais de Justice in Brussels on 26 August at 11 h
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
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
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.