Chinese lawyers and US-based rights group ChinaAid Jan. 15 called on Beijing police to conduct a search for missing Chinese rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng. Police reported the previous day that Gao, who has been in police custody since last February, went missing in September. Gao’s brother, Gao Zhiyi, said he was told that police believe his brother “got lost and went missing while out on a walk”—from a high-security prison. Rights groups suspect Gao died while under torture.
Gao drew international attention in September 2007 when he wrote a letter to the US Congress requesting assistance in improving human rights in China. Gao, who has also defended Christians and coal miners in China, claimed that he was tortured after his arrest in 2007. Gao was originally part of the Chinese Communist Party and handled prominent cases involving the outlawed Falun Gong movement, but fell into disfavor with the government in 2006 when he was convicted of subversion and placed under house arrest. (Jurist, Jan. 15)
See our last post on China.