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Chinese government refrains from giving information on Christian human rights activist

Gao Zhisheng, a prominent Christian human rights lawyer has been in prison since 13 August 2017. His family has not had a single update since.

Gao Zhisheng previously shared his experience of repeated torture in prison as a result of his work. His family and friends are afraid that he is at high risk of torture or even death.

He is a Christian human rights attorney in China who dedicated his career to persecuted Christians. Gao was a former member of the People’s Liberation Army and later the Chinese Communist Party. When he started fighting against persecution by representing the cases of Christians, coal miners, and Falun Gong practitioners, he became a perfect target for the Chinese government. People started calling him “the Conscience of China”. He was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice.

Gao wrote open letters to the Chinese government urging reform, equal protection under the law, and fair treatment of persecuted groups. Thanks to his open letters, the plight of Falun Gong became well-known to the world. He called on the Chinese government to end their harassment, arrest, and torture. Following his discoveries, Gao openly separated himself from the “cruel, untrustworthy, inhumane, and evil party [the CCP].”

He was charged with “inciting subversion of state power” in 2006. Gao requested that the U.S. government took a stand against the 2008 Olympics coming to Beijing. As a result, the police detained him and he was facing torture. His family was forced to flee to the U.S. to escape the constant surveillance and threats. 

Gao suffered severe beatings, sleep deprivation, and electric shock. He has spent many years imprisoned and endured solitary confinement. In a later memoir, Gao reflected on his Christian faith and the support from those close to him for his ability to endure the hardship he faced through his many arrests.

One of his memoirs called Unwavering Convictions reads: “God has protected me and by which God has sustained me in my time of trouble and nurtured the faith that has allowed me to carry on.”

Many human rights and aid organizations urge the Chinese government to release Gao or at least provide information to his wife and family about his location, health condition, and well-being. Gao turned 60 years old on the 20th of April.


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