China: HRF Publishes Report by Missing Human Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng


NEW YORK (October 16, 2017) — The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) has published Gao Zhisheng’s “2016 Human Rights Report for China.” Gao is a prominent Chinese human rights lawyer who was imprisoned in his home in Shaanxi Province in 2014. In August, he went missing while still under house arrest and resurfaced under police custody in Beijing. But to this day, his family and friends remain unable to reach him and do not know where he is being held by the Chinese dictatorship.

The report criticizes the unforgivable silence of Western democracies in dealing with China’s human rights abuses:

“[…] the whole world has learned to be deaf and mute to CPC’s ruthless suppression of the Chinese people’s basic human rights in exchange for the bloodstained economic interests rewarded by CPC. The brutal oppressors of human rights, the oppressed, and the brutal division of interests by all nations around the globe have created an infamous status quo, seen and known by people everywhere, which also attests to and solidifies the unfathomably lonely and dangerous situation of the Party’s protesters in China.”

Gao’s report was delivered to HRF’s co-sponsors, China Aid and Christian Solidarity Worldwide, prior to his August disappearance. In the report, Gao documents various human rights abuses and social injustices in China, and criticizes government policies and corruption.

“In today’s society, it is absurd to think that we should even be discussing whether human rights should be rejected, and yet this is the dark reality we Chinese people have to face year after year,” the report states. “In China, discussing human rights openly has become taboo and has been suppressed by the government as an extremely terrifying threat with even more terrifying measures.”

Gao wrote the 47-page report while under “residential surveillance,” a form of house arrest frequently used by the Chinese government on political dissidents. Before his 2014 house arrest, he was arbitrarily imprisoned multiple times.

“Mr. Gao’s report highlights the worst human rights abuses at the hands of the biggest dictatorship in the world. He is giving a voice to the oppressed in China, even when his own freedom has been taken away,” said HRF president Thor Halvorssen. “In return for his courageous activism, China must release Mr. Gao to reunite with his family.”

Read the full report here.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.

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