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要求中國政府公開交代高智晟律師下落 Demand Information about Lawyer Gao Zhisheng’s Whereabouts

要求中國政府公開交代高智晟律師下落 Demand Information about Lawyer Gao Zhisheng’s Whereabouts要求中國政府公開交代高智晟律師下落 Demand Information about Lawyer Gao Zhisheng’s Whereabouts
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要求中國政府公開交代高智晟律師下落

2009年2月4日,著名維權律師高智晟在緩刑期間,被警方從陝西老家帶走,至今仍然失蹤。面對全球關注高智晟律師的團體和人士的壓力,中國政府近日已被迫作出回應。中國駐美國華盛頓大使周文重在回覆美國參議院中國事務委員會主席道爾甘的正式信件中指出:「高智晟被判有期徒刑3年緩刑5年,目前正在服緩刑」,而「公安當局沒有對他採取任何強制性行動」。前者我們不能接受,中國政府一直沒有清楚交代他的罪名;而後者則有目擊者看見高律師的確被公安人員帶走。

2004及2005年,高律師先後三次發表致全國人大、胡錦濤和溫家寶的公開信,要求停止迫害自由信仰者。2005年11月4日,司法局以荒唐的理由勒令停止其律師事務所執業一年,並沒收其律師執照。2006年2月4日,高律師獲悉郭飛雄律師被廣東警方暴力毆打後,隨即絕食48小時,抗議當局的非法迫害。絕食行動獲海內外關注中國人權的團體和人士響應,全球接力絕食聲援內地維權運動。同年2月24日,高律師被司法局「傳召」問話;同年12月4日,被北京市第一中級人民法院以「煽動顛覆國家政權罪」,判有期徒刑3年,緩刑5年,剝奪政治權利1年。

高律師及其家人的自由和人身安全一直沒有獲得保障。高律師的住所遭警察監視及騷擾,全家遭24小時監視、跟蹤、騷擾。高律師亦遭秘密員警多次威脅,險釀一場人為車禍。在聲援郭飛雄後,高律師的3名助手失蹤或被綁架;其家中和辦公室的電話、傳真和電腦網絡被切斷。被判刑以來,高律師一家一直受到軟禁;女兒被國保員警押送上學,被騷擾、語言羞辱亦不許與同學來往。直至2009年2月4日,高律師被警方從陝西老家帶走,至今仍然失蹤,而高律師受到各種酷刑虐待羞辱等消息不時傳出;幸其家人於3月11日成功抵達美國。

中國維權律師關注組主席何俊仁律師逢星期三的24小時絕食已踏入第14周,關注組國際事務秘書關尚義律師(John Clancey)亦會繼續每周三進行12小時絕食。我們呼籲各界加入絕食行動,聲援並密切關注包括高智晟在內長期被迫害的中國維權律師。

我們要求中國政府立即:

1. 交代高律師的下落;
2. 交代高律師被軟禁的原因;
3. 讓高律師的親人、朋友及國際組織的代表探望高律師。

聯署團體:

民主黨國事小組
香港基督徒學會
中國維權律師關注組
香港天主教正義和平委員會
香港市民支援愛國民主運動聯合會
支聯會青年組
公民黨

2009年6月17日

Demand Information about Lawyer Gao Zhisheng’s Whereabouts

Prominent Beijing human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who was serving a suspended sentence, was forcibly taken away in his hometown in Shaanxi province by public security officers on 4 February 2009, and he has been missing since then. Facing the pressure from groups and individuals around the world who are concerned about Lawyer Gao, the Chinese government has recently been forced to respond. In reply to a letter from Senator Byron Dorgan, chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong recently issued the first official letter about Gao, stating that Gao is “currently serving probation” and “the public security authority has not taken any mandatory action against him.” We cannot accept the former, as the Chinese government has never been able to state clearly what crime Gao had committed during probation; and the latter is incorrect, as Gao was last seen being hauled away by public security officials.

In 2004 and 2005, Lawyer Gao wrote three open letters to the National People’s Congress, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabo demanding that the Chinese government should stop persecuting religious believers. On 4 November 2005, his law firm was banned from operation for a year by the Beijing Judicial Bureau, giving absurd reasons, and soon after his legal practice license was suspended. On 4 February 2006, aware of legal rights defender Guo Feiziong’s being violently beaten up by Guangdong police officers, Lawyer Gao staged a hunger strike for 48 hours to protest against the illegal persecution of human rights activists by the authorities. The hunger strike was echoed by mainland and overseas groups and individuals who are concerned about human rights in China, and a worldwide relay hunger strike was started to show support for the rights defense movement in China. On 24 February 2006, Lawyer Gao was summoned by the Beijing Judicial Bureau for interrogation. On 4 December, he was convicted of “incitement to subvert state power” and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, suspended for five years, with political right stripped for one year.

Lawyer Gao and his family have been subjected to surveillance and threats to their personal safety for a long time. His family was under 24-hour surveillance and subject to harassment; since his conviction, Lawyer Gao and his family were under house arrest and there was always news about Lawyer Gao being subjected to various forms and degrees of insults and torture. His daughter was escorted to school by public security officers. She was warned not to make friends with her classmates and was verbally insulted. Since he was taken away from his home in Shaanxi on 4 February 2009, Gao has been missing. However, fortunately, his wife and two children managed to leave China and arrived in the United States on 11 March this year.

Albert Ho Chun-yan, chairman of the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group, will continue his 14th weekly 24-hour fasting and John Clancey, international secretary of the Concern Group, will continue his 12-hour fasting on Wednesday. We call on everyone from different areas to join us, and to support Lawyer Gao and other mainland human rights lawyers who are being subjected to repression.

We urge the Chinese government to immediately:

1. reveal where attorney Gao is being detained;
2. give particulars about why attorney Gao is being detained; and
3. let Lawyer Gao’s relatives, friends, and representatives from non-governmental organizations visit him.

Co-signed by:

Hong Kong Christian Institute
China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group
China Affairs Group, Democratic Party of Hong Kong
Civic Party
Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese
Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China
Youth Group of Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China

17 June 2009

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