Wednesday, 12 January 2011

China´s repressive treatment of human rights activists - The shameful silence of Western leaders

Western political leaders - busy feting visiting Chinese "benefactors" - are shamefully silent on the fate of Gao Zhisheng and other human rights activists in China.

When the Chancellor, George Osborne, and Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, hosted visiting Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang at a cosy dinner at Mansion House on Monday, it is a fair bet that the extra-judicial torture of the man formerly on China's official list of its 10 best lawyers was not among the topics discussed.
The details of what the Chinese police did to Gao Zhisheng during his mysterious 10-month disappearance would have ruined anyone's appetite.
The brilliant human rights lawyer, who had risen from an orphaned childhood in a cave dwelling to a starring role in Beijing's courts, defending citizens against land theft, censorship and religious intolerance, was beaten day and night, temporarily blinded and threatened with death.

His head was bound in a wet towel until he felt he was suffocating. He was told his children had suffered nervous breakdowns. During one week of abuse he was handcuffed, his mouth and eyes bound with tape and he was pistol-whipped for hours on end. Other things done to him were so grotesque he refused to divulge them.

These details from the Independent´s story are revealed in an inerview with Gao Zhisheng conducted by AP when he reappeared last April. He asked that the interview be withheld unless he vanished again. Shortly after the interview Zisheng was seized again and has not been heard of since. That is why AP decided to publish the interview:

Read the entire interview here.

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