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China 'must' free rights lawyer Gao

Monday, August 15, 2011 Published: 15/08/2011 at 10:06 PM   Online news:
AFP News Agency
European Parliament president Jerzy Buzek called on China Monday to release lawyer and rights activist Gao Zhisheng, who has not been seen for more than a year after an earlier conviction for subversion.
``Five years ago, Gao Zhisheng disappeared for the first time from public,'' Buzek said in a statement.
``He was detained by Chinese authorities who convicted him of 'subversion'. Ever since then, he went through a nightmare because of his courageous commitment to human rights, especially those of religious minorities.
``I am very much concerned that over a year ago, Gao disappeared again.''
Buzek from Poland said there had been no credible information on the whereabouts of the prominent rights lawyer.

``The accounts of torture he made earlier let me assume the worst.
``I call upon the Chinese authorities to comply with the most basic international standards and release Gao Zhisheng who has been subject to unacceptable treatment, including detention without any contact with his family.''
Arrested and convicted in 2006, Chinese authorities detained Gao once again in February 2009.
Police and law officials have refused to show an arrest warrant or make public the charges against Gao, who briefly reappeared in March last year, or even confirm his detention.

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"Bob Fu has dedicated his life to bringing freedom of religion to the Chinese people. His story is a testimony to the power of faith and an inspiration to people struggling to break free from oppression."
—Mrs. Laura Bush

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