August 16, 2011

Tibet: Beijing Claims Lawyer Forgot His Way Home

Chinese Authorities are claiming that outspoken human rights lawyer, Gao Zhisheng lost his way home after being released from five years of probation.  The lawyer remains missing as his wife calls on the international community for help securing his freedom.

Below is an article published by Radio Free Asia:

Outspoken Chinese rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng remains missing despite the end on Sunday of a five-year period of “probation,” and his wife is calling on the international community to press China to free him.

“There has been no word from him at all,” Gao’s U.S.-based wife Geng He said in an interview on Monday [date].

“I called the Public Security Bureau in Beijing, and they said ‘Gao Zhisheng has lost his way home,’” said Gao’s older brother, Gao Zhiyi.

“That is completely impossible,” added Gao. “How could an adult like him lose his way home?”

Gao Zhisheng, 49, was last seen by his family in April 2010.

“Following his [earlier] arrest on Aug. 15, 2006, this is the sixth time that Gao Zhisheng has gone missing for an extended period. The family is very worried,” Geng said.

“We have to search for him by ourselves, and his older brother has posted a public ‘missing person’ notice to look for him,” she said.

Gao was handed a five-year sentence of probation in lieu of a three-year prison sentence in 2006 for “subversion.”  That period of probation officially ended on Sunday.

Geng He fled to the United States from China with both their children in 2009.

“This Aug. 14 was the last day of probation,” Geng said. “I think there is absolutely no reason for the Chinese authorities to keep locking my husband up.”

“I urge them to release my husband. Our children are missing their father,” Geng said.

Geng Ge, the daughter of Gao and Geng, expressed her longing for her father to come home.

“I miss my dad day and night, so I have posted many of his photos on the wall in my room. Sometimes I talk to those pictures,” she said.

Geng He called on the international community to pressure Beijing to release her husband.

“I know that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will travel to China. I hope that he can raise the issue of my husband in Beijing,” Geng said.

Joe Biden leaves for Beijing on Aug. 16.

Geng said that on Sunday, she received a letter from Edward McMillan-Scott, a British member and vice president of the European Parliament, expressing concern over Gao’s continued disappearance.

Geng said that she will forward a copy of the letter to Baroness Cathy Ashton, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

“They have been paying attention to the abduction and torture of my husband.”