China Aid Association Dec. 16, 2011
ChinaAid Note: Following the surprising news Friday morning that Chinese authorities had revoked probation for Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng and were sending him back to jail for three years, ChinaAid founder and president Bob Fu immediately contacted supporters in the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament calling for a strong response. “Silence is not a diplomatic option,” he said. The statement below is the first public response by U.S. congressional leaders to Friday’s developments in Gao’s case.
James P. McGovern Frank R. Wolf
December 16, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kalinda Stephenson (202-225-3599)
Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Co-Chairmen Call for Immediate and Unconditional Release of Gao Zhisheng
Washington – Following news reports that Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng was returned to prison, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Co-Chairmen Frank R. Wolf (R-VA) and James P. McGovern (D-MA) today called for his immediate and unconditional release.
Gao, a tireless advocate for political and religious dissenters, faces up to three years in prison for “seriously” violating his probation, according to Chinese news reports. Wolf and McGovern questioned how someone under House arrest and who actually went missing for more than a year-and-a-half could violate their parole.
“We urge the global community to speak with one voice and tell Beijing that Gao’s continued harassment and unjust imprisonment is simply unacceptable. It is critical that this administration must firmly stand up and show support for those who are jailed for peacefully seeking freedom and human rights,” said Wolf and McGovern.
The bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission was established in the U.S. House of Representatives to educate Members of Congress on human rights issues and advocate on behalf of human rights defenders world-wide.