Announcement on the Investigation of Individuals Responsible for the Persecution of Prominent Human Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng
Brief Case Description: Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Mr. Gao Zhisheng, born on April 20, 1964, and aged 57, is a native of Jia County, Yulin City, Shaanxi Province. Since becoming a professional lawyer in 1996, for a long time, Mr. Gao Zhisheng has been assisting vulnerable groups to defend their rights and sue the local governments for their violation of the law. And he has been honored as the “conscience of China”. In 2001, Mr. Gao Zhisheng was awarded the title of one of the “National Top Ten Lawyers” by the Chinese Ministry of Justice.
Since December 2004, Mr. Gao has defied the internal rules set by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities through political means regarding Falun Gong, as well as the high pressure from the party, and he has resolutely broken through the forbidden zone to speak out for Falun Dafa (aka. Falun Gong) practitioners. He has written four open letters to the CCP’s highest authorities, calling for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong. As a result, Mr. Gao and his family were harassed, illegally arrested, sentenced, imprisoned, tortured, and humiliated by the CCP authorities. In August 2006, Mr. Gao Zhisheng’s lawyer’s license was revoked, and he was secretly abducted and detained for four months, during which time he was severely tortured. And in December 2006, he was sentenced to three years of imprisonment with a five-year suspension by the CCP for “inciting subversion.” On August 13, 2017, Mr. Gao Zhisheng was secretly kidnapped again by the authorities, and his whereabouts are still unknown to this day.
The fact that Mr. Gao Zhisheng has been severely persecuted tells people that under the CCP’s rule, an act of justice is an act of subversion of the party’s state power. This is because the Chinese Communist Party is evil!
Mr. Gao Zhisheng has represented Mainland Chinese Falun Gong practitioners and vulnerable groups, such as petitioners. It is precisely out of his sense of justice as a lawyer and citizen that he tried to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the people, to stop the CCP’s willful persecution of the people, and to uphold the justice and conscience of mankind. This has constituted a subversion of the evil CCP regime that harms people.
World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) hereby announces to continue our investigation on those responsible for the persecution of Mr. Gao Zhisheng to the end, until all the criminals are brought to justice!
I. Overview of the persecution suffered by lawyer Gao Zhisheng and his family
1. The persecution of Mr. Gao and his family by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice, the Beijing Lawyers Association, and the Beijing Public Security Bureau’s Domestic Security Police Corps from the end of 2004 to the end of 2005
While illegally arresting and sentencing Falun Gong practitioners, the CCP has also been prohibiting lawyers from defending the practitioners in order to conceal the illegality of its persecution policy. In December 2004, Mr. Gao Zhisheng defended Huang Wei, a Falun Gong practitioner in Shijiazhuang. On December 31, 2004, Mr. Gao wrote an open letter to Wu Bangguo, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress, calling on the CCP authorities to change the judicial status quo and to immediately stop the persecution of Falun Gong.
On October 18, November 22 and December 12, 2005, Mr. Gao wrote three open letters to Hu Jintao, then General Secretary of the CCP and President of the People’s Republic of China, and Wen Jiabao, then Premier of the State Council, demanding an immediate end to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
The day after he sent his first open letter to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, Mr. Gao Zhisheng’s family received a threatening phone call. And from the third day on, Gao and his family had been under 24-hour surveillance by plainclothes policemen.
On November 4, 2005, Gao Zhisheng’s law firm was illegally suspended for one year.
2. The persecution of attorney Gao and his family by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau’s Domestic Security Police Corps, the Beijing Municipal People’s Procuratorate and the Beijing Municipal Intermediate People’s Court from 2006 to 2011
On August 15, 2006, after his family had been followed and harassed by plainclothes police for more than 300 days, Mr. Gao Zhisheng was abducted from his elder sister’s home in Dongying City, Shandong Province, by plainclothes policemen, who had illegally broken into her home. Meanwhile, his family members were being watched, followed and beaten.
On September 21, 2006, attorney Gao was arrested. On December 12, 2006, without informing his family or notifying his defense lawyer, the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court illegally opened a trial. On December 22, 2006, the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court illegally delivered a first instance verdict. For the crime of “inciting subversion of state power”, the court sentenced attorney Gao Zhisheng to three years of imprisonment with a five-year suspension, and one year of deprivation of political rights. During the sentence suspension period, attorney Gao Zhisheng was repeatedly placed under house arrest, monitored and abducted.
On September 21, 2007, attorney Gao had a black hood pulled over his head and was abducted to an illegal prison, where he was subjected to various forms of torture and sexual abuse. In early February 2009, Mr. Gao Zhisheng wrote an article entitled “Dark Night, Dark Hood, and Kidnapping by Dark Mafia”, detailing the physical and mental tortures he endured in the illegal prison. After the book was published overseas, it shocked the international community.
During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Mr. Gao’s entire family was expelled from Beijing, forcing his daughter to discontinue her studies.
In January 2009, Mr. Gao Zhisheng’s wife and children managed to escape the surveillance by plainclothes policemen, fled China and arrived in the U.S. In February 2009, Mr. Gao Zhisheng was taken away from his hometown in northern Shaanxi Province by police. Afterward, the CCP authorities refused to disclose his whereabouts. On March 28, 2010, Mr. Gao Zhisheng, who had been missing for more than a year, suddenly appeared and accepted interviews by several Western media outlets. In an interview with the Associated Press, Mr. Gao defied the authorities’ gag order and revealed that he had been repeatedly tortured by public security officers during his 14-month disappearance. On April 20, 2010, Mr. Gao disappeared again.
On December 16, 2011, the CCP’s mouthpiece Xinhua News Agency reported that Mr. Gao Zhisheng’s sentence suspension was revoked and that he was sent to Xinjiang Shayar Prison to serve a three-year term.
3. The persecution lawyer Gao Zhisheng endured in Shayar Prison of Xinjiang from December 2011 to August 2014
After Mr. Gao Zhisheng was released from prison in August 2014, it was revealed that during his detention in Shayar Prison in Xinjiang, he was imprisoned in an 8-square-meter confinement cell with no windows or ventilation for three long years. During this period, he was subjected to various forms of torture, such as violent beatings and electric shocks to the genitals; and he was also mentally tortured by a tweeter for 96 weeks. Due to long-term abuse and prohibition for him to seek medical treatment, Mr. Gao Zhisheng has been suffering from severe malnutrition. And his physical health has also been severely damaged, as his memory and language functions have severely degenerated, and his teeth have been particularly damaged.
4. The persecution suffered by lawyer Gao Zhisheng and his family after his release from prison
After he was released from prison, Mr. Gao Zhisheng did not truly obtain freedom. He was still placed under house arrest and closely monitored. He was deprived of his right to freely contact the outside world, so he could only stay at home. And he was even severely restricted from going out for medical treatment.
During the Chinese New Year holiday period in 2016, Mr. Gao Zhisheng and his family members left home to visit their relatives in Yulin City for the Chinese New Year. However, many local policemen in plainclothes harassed them incessantly for several dozen hours. During this period, Mr. Gao Zhisheng was violently pushed and verbally abused multiple times within one single day. Eventually, Mr. Gao Zhisheng and his family were unable to stay in Yulin City and were forced to return to their cave-dwelling in their home village.
Under the CCP’s close surveillance, Mr. Gao Zhisheng secretly composed two books, “China’s Human Rights Report” and “Constitution of the Federal Republic of China” in 2016. In particular, his secretly written new book “The Year 2017, Stand Up, China” was officially published in Taiwan, which greatly frightened and angered the CCP authorities. As a result, their surveillance of him intensified. In the book, he exposed the CCP’s long-term kidnapping, imprisonment, torture and persecution imposed on him. He also predicted in the book that the CCP would be destroyed, and he envisaged and visualized the construction of China’s democratic constitutionalism in the future.
5. Lawyer Gao Zhisheng was arrested again, with his current whereabouts unknown, and his family members have been implicated
On August 13, 2017, Mr. Gao Zhisheng was secretly kidnapped again by the CCP authorities, and his whereabouts have been unknown since then. Although some people with a sense of justice both within and outside of China and Mr. Gao’s family members have been calling on the CCP to reveal his whereabouts and demanding his immediate release, the CCP authorities have turned a deaf ear to them and refused to respond. As a result, it is impossible to ascertain whether lawyer Gao Zhisheng is still alive or not.
Mr. Gao Zhisheng’s elder sister and her family in Shandong Province have also been implicated. Her family has been monitored by the local police for a long time. The CCP authorities have also used their children’s employment to threaten and force Mr. Gao Zhisheng’s relatives in China to cease contact with Gao Zhisheng’s wife and children, who are in exile in the US.
As Mr. Gao Zhisheng’s elder sister was worried about his safety, she suffered severely every day. She was constantly in a state of fear and anxiety, developed insomnia and eventually became depressed. In despair, she committed suicide by throwing herself into a river in May 2020.
II. The individuals responsible for the persecution of lawyer Gao Zhisheng
1. The CCP Central Committee
Guo Shengkun, secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the CCP Central Committee;
Former secretaries of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the CCP Central Committee, Meng Jianzhu (2012-2017), Zhou Yongkang (2007-2012) and Luo Gan (1998-2007);
Chen Zhimin, former director of the Domestic Security Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security
2. Beijing City
Former Beijing Municipal Political and Legal Affairs Commission
Former secretaries: Qiang Wei (April 2004 – March 2007) and Wang Anshun (March 2007 – July 2012);
Ji Lin, former deputy secretary of the Beijing Municipal Political and Legal Affairs Commission (July 2012 – July 2013)
Former Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice
Director: Yu Hongyuan (February 2010 – November 2016);
Chai Lei, former deputy director of the Attorney Management Division of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice (He personally dealt with the clients of Mr. Gao Zhisheng’s law firm)
Former Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau
Director: Ma Zhenchuan (September 2001 – February 2010);
Former Domestic Security Police Corps
Captains: Zhang Xianlin (later political commissar of the Security Bureau of the Internal Units until February 2011), Tang Guowei (unknown – June 2006), Zhang Ming (June 2006 – April 2011), Wang Yichun (April 2011 - unknown) (the three-term team captain, during whose terms Mr. Gao Zhisheng was harassed, threatened, persecuted and tortured by the National Security police, and his three-year prison sentence suspension was revoked), and Sun Di, the head of the 9th Division of the Domestic Security Police Corps of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau (responsible for long-term monitoring, harassment and assaulting of lawyer Gao Zhisheng and his family)
Beijing Municipal People’s Procuratorate
Former Procurator General Xiang Ming;
Deputy Director of No. 1 Public Prosecution Division, No. 1 Branch Court, Beijing Municipal People’s Procuratorate: Zhang Rongge (public prosecutor of Mr. Gao Zhisheng’s case)
Former Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court
Chief Justice: Chi Qiang (September 2003 – May 2007), Wang Mingda (May 2007 – July 2013)
Trial Judge: Jia Lianchun
Judge: Wang He, Bo Jun (served as the presiding judge when Mr. Gao’s sentence suspension was revoked)
Former Beijing Municipal “610 Office”
Directors: Liu Wei (January 2001 – around the year 2007), Zhou Jihong (around 2007 – March 2008), Yan Mancheng (March 2009 – May 2012), Yang Xiaoyi (May 2012 – present)
Former deputy directors: Xiao Pei (unknown – March 2009), Xiao Youmao (unknown – March 2009), Wang Liming (unknown – March 2009), Du Libin (unknown – September 2012), Li Shuguang (June 2009 – November 2011; served as associate inspector of the Beijing Municipal 610 Office and then deputy director of the Beijing Municipal 610 Office since November 2011), Lin Zhaobo (June 2009 – June 2011), Man Hengyuan (served as associate inspector of the Beijing Municipal 610 Office before June 2009 and then deputy director of the Beijing Municipal 610 Office from June 2009 to December 2010)
Fengtai Police Station, Fengtai District, Beijing City
Deputy chief of police: Zhang Xue (directly participated in the persecution of Mr. Gao Zhisheng from 2006 to around the year 2011)
3. Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Department of Justice, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Deputy director: Xie Hui (April 2004 – June 2013)
Prison Administration Bureau of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Director (September 2010 – June 2013), deputy director of the Public Security Department of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (June 2013 – January 2016)
Urumqi City, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Chief of police, Qiaziwan Police Station, Midong District: Wang Kaibing
National Security policeman, Public Security Bureau, Urumqi: Ren Xiaolin
Shayar Prison, Xinjiang
Warden: Du Jun (around 2012); prison supervisor: Evanier; deputy prison supervisor: Chen Fan, education section chief: Kang Jianhui; police officer: Ma Bing
4. Yulin City, Shaanxi Province
Secretary of the Yulin Municipal Political and Legal Affairs Commission, Shaanxi Province: Liu Chunqiao (June 2013 – March 2016);
Director of the Yulin Municipal Public Security Bureau: Zhang Ming (September 2012 – March 2016)
The principle of our investigation is that those who committed crimes shall be brought to justice. Individuals shall bear responsibility for their involvement in their organizations’ crimes, and those instigating the persecution shall bear the same responsibility as those physically carrying out the persecution. According to this principle, and to uproot state-sanctioned crimes and safeguard human morality and conscience, the criminal conduct of all individuals within organizations, units and departments involved in the persecution will be thoroughly investigated and brought to justice.
The CCP is disintegrating, and the great movement to hold it accountable for its crimes is arriving soon! The CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong is a crime of genocide and crime against humanity! Its degree of hideousness has exceeded that of all other crimes in human history. Moreover, the investigations on and the pursuit of legal actions against such crimes have no limitation of prosecution or national boundary, and they are within a common jurisdiction of all mankind. No matter whether it is the highest authority of the CCP or the specific executors, no pretext can be used as a reason for exemption. All participants will face moral and legal trials and must bear personal responsibility. The only way out is to break from the CCP and expose its evils, in order to seek redemption. There is no escape from the long arm of the law. According to the heavenly principles, good and evil will eventually be repaid!
WOIPFG will continue to investigate, as always, the criminal conduct of all institutions, organizations and individuals involved in the persecution of Falun Gong; to bring such investigations, no matter how long it takes, no matter how far and deep we have to search, to full closure; to exercise the fundamental principles of humanity; and to restore and uphold justice in society. This is our promise to the Almighty, and we will never give up.
Finally, I hope that such an anti-persecution rally is the last one to be held here, and that I am also speaking at such a gathering for the last time. Next time, we will be on the Tiananmen Square and Tiananmen Gate Tower in Beijing, Mainland China, to celebrate together the birth of a new age without the CCP or its communist specter!
World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong
Tel: +1-347-448-5790; Fax: +1-347-402-1444
Mailing address: P.O. Box 84, New York, NY 10116, U.S.A.
Online Reporting: https://www.zhuichaguoji.org/node/3387
Websites: http://zhuichaguoji.org (Chinese); http://www.upholdjustice.org/ (English)