Jailed human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng’s wife Geng He gave an interview at Radio Free Asia’s headquarter in Washington DC on 14 February 2012, a few hours prior to testifying at a hearing before the US Congressional Executive Commission on China.
Ms Geng expresses her anger towards the prison authority at Shaya prison in Xinjiang for preventing her and her family in China from getting in touch with Gao Zhisheng. She has been making phone calls to the prison daily, but to no avail. Neither her nor her family in China is allowed access to Gao Zhisheng. Ms Geng therefore condemns the Chinese Government for once again lying about Gao Zhisheng’s situation. She also voices fear over his whereabouts, say she has no way of knowing if he is still alive.
Ms Geng has been separated from her husband for nearly 22 months. When Gao Zhisheng briefly reappeared in early 2010, Ms Geng and her children had already fled to the USA to escape persecution. As she was about to give up hopes of ever seeing her husband alive, Xinhua News English services released information on 16 December 2011 to suggest that Gao Zhisheng had been sent back to jail to serve his full sentences for violating his parole conditions. However, apart from a letter sent from Shaya prison to Gao Zhisheng’s older brother Gao Zhiyi, neither Ms Geng nor her family has ever received any formal verdict or court ruling with regard to Gao Zhisheng’s sentencing.
Many China observers find it puzzling why Chinese authorities will go to such length to persecute an attorney for doing his job properly. But those of us who are familiar with the thugocracy of China’s State Security agents are not at all surprised to find these thugs reacting excessively when their dirty acts of torture were exposed.
But this is beside the point. Jared Genser from Freedom Now is correct when he says,
Mr Gao’s repeated disappearances over the last 5 years are really extraordinary, not only because he is not a dissident himself or a human rights activist, but he is in fact a human rights lawyer, representing others. And so I think his mistreatment is of special concern to the United States and should be as well to the rest of the world because ultimately if lawyers are not allowed to defend dissidents in China, then any claims by the Chinese governments that they care about the rule of law would be rather meaningless…..
I think the most disturbing thing about how the Chinese Government is handling this case is not only they are ignoring their own laws and international law but they are frequently lying to the international community repeatedly, and torturing not only Gao Zhisheng which we knew and heard stories about but frankly his whole family has been tortured by the lies they are telling to the international community and to the member of the family themselves. And I think that is the most disturbing part about his case.
Here is the LINK to Geng He’s testimony (in Chinese), released by Human Rights in China at Ms Geng’s request.