Gao Zhisheng, a renowned human rights lawyer in mainland China and a member of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG), was secretly detained on September 23rd by the Chinese communist regime because he sent an open letter to the U.S. Senate and House of Congress. His current whereabouts are unknown and his wife and children have been intimidated, harassed, and illegally placed under house arrest. The family's contact with outside sources has been lost.
We strongly condemn this abominable conduct of the Chinese regime and demand that it immediately release Gao Zhisheng and stop persecuting his family.
In a recent open letter, Gao Zhisheng called upon the U.S. to take into consideration the ongoing human rights abuses in China, where the communist regime has been brutally repressing the Chinese people. He called upon the U.S. to halt the regime's barbaric crimes against humanity.
We have great appreciation and admiration for Gao's determination and courage in issuing this open letter at a time when he was placed under extensive surveillance and subject to severe coercion from the Beijing regime. It is clear that he cared only about the Chinese people's suffering and disregarded his own safety, demonstrating his firm belief that morality and conscience will triumph.
At this point, we would especially like to remind the representatives at both the US Senate and House of Congress that Gao trusts your collective moral conscience and your courage to safeguard human dignity; hence he wrote you the open letter. Yet writing that letter has prompted the regime to arbitrarily arrest more Chinese dissidents, again showing their tyrannical nature.
Therefore, we feel the rescue of Gao is in your hands. Since the U.S. is known for its role as a human rights leader, this is an opportunity to demonstrate America's sense of justice and fairness.
To support Lawyer Gao's rescue, to help the international community become aware of Gao's position, and to demand his release, at the next relay station of the Human Rights Torch Relay in Belgium, we plan to add a yellow silk ribbon to the torch. All participants attending the relay events will wear a ribbon as well. This indication of support for Gao will continue until his freedom is secured. The "Human Rights Torch Relay," sponsored by the CIPFG, was launched on August 9th with a purpose to end communist China's persecution of Falun Gong and Falun Gong's supporters and to end all other human rights abuses in that country.
We call upon each and every country around the world to become informed about China under communist rule and to address the human rights abuses occurring in China. Ignoring the atrocities being perpetrated on the Chinese people is not an option.
We firmly believe that if the Olympics proceed in China along with the current crimes against humanity occurring there, it is a degradation of the Games and an insult to all well-meaning people everywhere.
In closing, we reiterate Gao Zhisheng's challenge in his open letter:
"Is today's humankind able to confront the crimes against humanity and genocide that have been veiled under the state power?"Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG)2007-9-24