A Missing Chinese LawyerMartin Flaherty in the New York Times, May 08, 2009
To the Editor:
“After 10 Years and 2,000 Deaths, China Still Presses Its Crusade Against Falun Gong” (news article, April 28) notes that some persecuted Falun Gong practitioners in China have recently been represented by lawyers. But it should be noted that such lawyers themselves face severe repression for taking on these clients.
Urgent in this regard is the case of Gao Zhisheng, a human rights lawyer who was “disappeared” by police in China on Feb. 4 and has not been heard from since. Mr. Gao had represented members of Falun Gong and had written a letter to President Hu Jintao calling for an end to their persecution. He was later detained for two months and left a detailed account of torture he suffered at the hands of his captors.
Foreign governments and N.G.O.’s have called upon China to release Mr. Gao or at least to provide information about his health and whereabouts. The Chinese government has refused.
New York, April 28, 2009
The writer, a professor of international human rights at Fordham Law School, is vice chairman of the Committee to Support Chinese Lawyers.
Contact: Martin Flaherty