Truth to Power

Where is Gao Zhisheng?

Rights groups: China rights lawyer missing

BEIJING–An outspoken Chinese human rights lawyer went missing two weeks ago, several international rights groups said Tuesday, expressing fears for his safety.

Gao Zhisheng, who has described being tortured in the past, disappeared Jan. 19 and is believed to be detained by security officials at an unknown location, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Human Rights in China wrote in a joint letter urging his release.

“We are intensely fearful for Gao Zhisheng’s safety at this time, given the security authorities’ long history of abusing him and his family,” said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.

China has long been criticized for its violations of freedom of speech and religion and brutal repression of critics, and the U.N. Human Rights Council is set to review its record starting Monday.

Gao, an attorney, has tackled cases involving property-rights violations, the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement and religious persecution from 2002-2006.

He was arrested in August 2006, convicted at a one-day trial and placed under house arrest. He was accused of subversion on the basis of nine articles posted on foreign Web sites, state media reported at the time.

In September 2007, he was again detained for several weeks after sending an open letter to the U.S. Congress denouncing China’s human rights situation and detailing his and his family’s harsh treatment by security forces. </em>

Oh, but isn’t China where they had those Olympics? You mean they aren’t the good guys? I guess they are as long as we need them to finance our country. So, their complete distain for human rights will be tolerated until our credit rating improves. Charming. Everybody get out your Made In China U.S flag and wave, wave, wave…

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