October 28, 2010
It is already over half a year since the Chinese human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng went missing. On Thursday, his 17-year-old daughter published an open letter on the Asia edition of “Wall Street Journal” in which she asks the US President Obama to urge the Chinese President Hu Jintao to make public Gao Zhisheng’s whereabouts when they meet next month in Seoul during the G-20 summit meeting. Following is a report by Tang Qiwei, reporter from Radio Free Asia.
Grace Geng, who is living in the US as exiles with her mother and brother, implores President Obama who has two daughters help a Chinese daughter find her father.
In her open letter, Grace Geng writes: “I know my father is just one man. But I also know that
if the Chinese government is allowed to blatantly violate its own law with respect to my father, it is only a matter of time before the next father disappears.”
The reporter from this radio station called Grace Geng several times, but no one answered the phone in the house.
Then, the reporter called Gao Zhiyi, Gao Zhisheng’s eldest brother in his native place in Northern Shaanxi. According to Gao Zhiyi, the last time he contacted his sister-in-law Geng He who is living as an exile in America was a month ago. Though Geng He said on the phone everything was okay with her and her children, he still worries about them.
According to Gao Zhiyi, as no one knows whether Gao Zhisheng is dead or alive, his family worries about him very much. However, judging from the various monstrous and unreasonable ways the Chinese authorities have been treating Gao Zhisheng, he personally thinks the open letter by his niece Grace will not change the fate of Gao Zhisheng.
“No matter what they say, his family should be allowed to know his whereabouts. Yet, they wouldn’t tell you at all. They (government) are not normal people and what they do does not look like the conduct of a government. Besides, can Americans come and take care of things in China? I guess not.”
Li Heping, a Beijing-based human rights attorney, said, though it is hard to predict how the issue will evolve after the open letter is published, the letter will, however, at least make more people pay attention to the incident in which Gao Zhisheng is “made to disappear.”
“Subjecting a person without any legal procedure to a status in which nobody in the outside world knows his condition is a serious crime and people throughout the world denounce such a conduct.”
In her open letter, Grace Geng talks about the torture her father suffered during his detention and that while he was home during a probation, he was not allowed to tell the people in the outside world what he had suffered.
According to Grace Geng, she can feel the terror her father feels at heart. Since her father came back from the prison, he was in a very poor health. Every morning he could not get out of the bed without his wife’s help.
Ms. He Qinglian, an economist residing in the US, said that due to a covert operation by the authorities, Gao Zhisheng is currently in a status where no one knows whether he is dead or alive and that for his sufferings, he is the most miserable one among the Chinese dissidents.
The mistreatment he suffered in the prison was so brutal that one can hardly bear to hear it. His suffering may have something to do with his support for Falun Gong. Besides, it also has something to do with his tough personal attitude. Though his family has come out of China, the family’s mind-set and their fate still make one worry about them.
In her open letter, Grace Geng said while she was still a child, she was also beaten by the police. He Qinglian told this radio station that the various sufferings Grace Geng went through while she grew up make her feel very sad as she is also a mother. She hopes the US government can pay due attention to this letter from Grace Geng seeking help from the US government, give support to Gao Zhisheng within its abilities and urge the Chinese government make public Gao ‘s whereabouts and give him humanitarian treatment.
He Qinglian said that the US and China have gone past their honeymoon period and that even Obama administration proposes some issues related to dissidents, the relationship between China and the US can’t worsen too much as it is already very bad.
China and the US have now reached a stage where they are blaming each other. There have been already a lot of disputes between them on exchange rates, trade wars and issues in South China Sea. Human rights are only a non-essential issue in the relationship between China and the US.
I think the US should propose it. I don’t know very clearly what results it will achieve. China is now in an international tension with many countries and there are signs that they want to ease the tension. Therefore, it is better to take this opportunity to propose the issue than not propose it.
Finally in her open letter, Grace Geng says she has prepared herself for the worst: “If the Chinese government has murdered my father, I beg President Obama to ask President Hu to let us bury him.”
The above is a report from Tang Qiwei, reporter from Radio Free Asia.
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]