Human rights lawyer severely tortured, whereabouts unknown

By February 10, 2009

China (MNN) — Nobel nominee and Christian human rights lawyer Mr. Gao Zhisheng was forcibly taken from his home last week, reports China Aid.

Yesterday, a letter was released to the public detailing the torture Zhisheng suffered in 2007. Two years earlier, Zhisheng had begun his work defending underground believers. Since then, he has been repeatedly kidnapped, arrested, imprisoned and tortured. The letter, addressed to the international community, was written on November 27, 2007 at Zhishgeng's besieged home in Beijing.

"We are deeply concerned about Mr. Gao and his family," said China Aid president Bob Fu. He says the Chinese government's human rights record should be closely examined by the United Nations. "The international community, including the UN Human Rights Council, should hold the Chinese government accountable for its brutal persecution against Mr. Gao's family." Join China Partner in prayer for this persecuted believer.

In his letter, Zhisheng recorded that he was kidnapped in September 2007 after sending an open letter to members of the U.S. Congress. He was severely interrogated and tormented over a period of 50 days. "The electric shock baton was put all over me," he wrote. "And my full body, my heart, lungs, and muscles began jumping under my skin uncontrollably. I was writhing on the ground in pain, trying to crawl away." For 13 days and nights, Zhisheng was forced to lie naked on the floor.

Cigarettes were used to fill Zhisheng's nose and eyes with smoke for extended periods of time during interrogation. Interrogators told Zhisheng that American Congress "counts for nothing."

"Look at you, you traitor," they told him. "What could you be given by your American Lord? This is China. It is the Communist Party's territory. To take your life is as easy as stepping on an ant."

Attorney Gao Zhisheng has endured repeated kidnappings, arrests, imprisonments and torture since 2005 for his defense of underground Christians. He, his wife, and two children have been closely monitored and tormented by authorities for over two years. Zhisheng is a former member of the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese army veteran. He was nominated for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize. To read Zhisheng's full letter, click here.

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