|Almost a year and no sign of Gao|
Human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng (高智晟) has disappeared for almost a year and a United Nations agency has demanded the Chinese government release him immediately. Gao was tortured in previous detentions, probably for his work on defending the Falun Gong.
The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention also said in the written statement the Chinese government should "provide for reparation of the harm caused" to Gao.
"The UN Working Group held that the detention violated international law because Gao's disappearance was punishment for exercising his fundamental human rights and because the government failed to meet even the minimum international standards for due process," the group said in the statement.
Gao was tortured when he was detained in 2007 and last year; against warnings not to, he wrote in detail about his earlier detention in which he was tortured. He told of how he was beaten with electric batons, and burning cigarettes were placed near his eyes among other things.
The Chinese government's response to the UN statement?
It asked the UN body to respect its judicial sovereignty.
While Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said she didn't know where Gao was, she said:
"China attaches importance to cooperation with the UN human rights mechanisms. We also urge these mechanisms to maintain an objective and impartial attitude and to respect China's judicial sovereignty.
"I would like to add that China is a country ruled by law, with an independent judiciary that handles cases."
The UN body is maintaining an objective and impartial attitude. The fact is Gao is missing. He has not been seen for almost a year. He was previously tortured. How is that biased?
Does China's judiciary allow for torture? On paper is probably does not. So why do shadowy security people continue to detain and physically and psychologically harm people like Gao without any legal right to do so?
Yu's stonewalling just suggests China is not prepared to deal with this issue -- hoping these defiant statements will put an end to things.
But we will not stop asking for Gao's release until we see him with our own eyes.
And there are many others we wish to ask about too (from chinageeks.org):
People who we know have been arrested:
- Ran Yunfei 冉云飞 (inciting to subvert state authority)
- Ding Mao 丁茅 (inciting to subvert state authority)
- Chen Wei 陈卫 (inciting to subvert state authority)
- Quan Lianzhao 全连昭 (inciting to subvert state authority)
- Liang Haiyi 梁海怡 (inciting to subvert state authority)
- Zhu Yufu 朱虞夫 (inciting to subvert state authority)
- Guo Weidong 郭卫东 (inciting to subvert state authority)
- Sun Desheng 孙德胜 (inciting to subvert state authority)
- Liu Huiping 刘慧萍 (inciting to subvert state authority)
- Wei Qiang 魏强 (illegal assembly)
- Zhang Jiannan 张健男 (illegal assembly)
- Yang Qiuyu 杨秋雨 (illegal assembly)
- Hua Chunhui 华春辉 (endangering national security)
- Li Hai 李海 (inciting disturbance)
- Li Yongsheng 李永生 (inciting disturbance)
- Wang Lihong 王荔蕻 (inciting disturbance)
- Ma He 马贺 (inciting disturbance)
- Wei Shuishan 魏水山 (unknown)
- Bi Mingkai 薜明凯 (unknown)
- Huang Xiang 黄香 (unknown)
- Tang Jingling 唐荆陵 (inciting to subvert state authority)
- Ye Du 野渡 (inciting to subvert state authority)
- Liu Xia (Liu Xiaobo's wife)
- Qian Jin 钱进
- Liu Guohui 刘国慧
- Li Tiantian 李天天
- Jiang Tianyong 江天勇
- Teng Biao 滕彪
- Zhang Shanguang 张善光
- Qi Zhiyong 齐志勇
- Gu Chuan 古川
- Liu Shihui 刘士辉 and his wife
- Yuan Xinting 袁新亭
- Zhang Tao 张涛 (aka 呆麻雀张)
- Zhang Xianle 张献乐
- Cheng Wanyun 程婉芸
- Liu Dejun 刘德军
- Liu Anjun 刘安军
- Zhang Haibo 张海波
- Lan Ruoyu 蓝若宇
- Hu Di 胡荻
- Zhang Jingpeng 张敬朋
- Li Shuangde 李双德
- E Laoda 鹅老大
- Peng Xinzhong 彭新忠
- Yang Hengjun 杨恒均
- Zhou Li 周莉
- Wang Yanfen 汪燕芬