Wall Street Journal Editorial Page September 9, 2014
Free Gao Zhisheng
Susan Rice completes a three-day visit to
he Chinese government has punished Mr. Gao for nearly a decade for his legal work on behalf of factory workers, dispossessed land owners and especially religious minorities, including Christians and Falun Gong members. Released from Shaya prison in western
Mr. Gao needs medical care after being confined from December 2011 until last month to a dark cell with no access to the outside world. The guards, who fed him one slice of bread and one piece of cabbage per day, refused to speak to him. His lawyers say he shed 50 pounds and lost teeth to malnutrition. Mr. Gao has written that in previous detentions he was burned with lit cigarettes, beaten with pistols and electrocuted. Torturers pierced his genitals with toothpicks.
From 2006-09, state security terrorized Mr. Gao's family by occupying their
While Ms. Rice has plenty on her agenda, from the summit to maritime territorial disputes and cyber espionage, issues of political freedom and human rights deserve a prominent place. One is
A Chinese activist: Out of prison but not free
Teng Biao is a human rights lawyer. September 7, 2014
A month ago, the human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng — my friend and colleague — limped out of Shaya Prison in northwestern
Gao grew up in an impoverished village in northern
But Gao’s career as a rights lawyer quickly hit the rocks, and failing to win cases for his clients was the least of it. In 2005, he wrote open letters to the National People’s Congress and then-leaders Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao to detail the horrendous torture being inflicted upon practitioners of Falun Gong, a fast-growing meditation group facing brutal suppression. He quickly received his reply: 24-7 surveillance of his home, death threats, harassment of his wife and children, summonses, disbarment, disappearances, torture that included savage beatings, electric shocks and the piercing of his genitals with a toothpick, and, finally, solitary confinement in prison. This took place over the past nine years.