Urgent Petition: Stop Illegal Detention of Gao Zhisheng and Harassment of His Family

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Urgent Petition: Stop Illegal Detention of Gao Zhisheng and Harassment of His Family

China’s most prominent human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has been arrested. Gao is widely regarded by various international organizations, including the UN Human Rights Commission as an important and respected human rights lawyer. Recently, both the US and the European Union expressed concern on his detention.

Even more troubling, after Gao was arrested, all his relatives were harassed, intimidated, or house-arrested. Police have even taken up residence in Gao’s apartment where his wife and two young children, a 13 year-old girl and a 2 year-old boy, continue to live. Juris Doctor Teng Biao and ex Peking University Professor Jiao Guobiao went to visit his family. They witnessed that police and other unidentifiable people stayed in the home of Gao, controlling their liberty as well as forbidding them from meeting friends.

These people, without any justifiable course or legal authorization, are directly intruding into a private apartment and are in violation of citizen’s housing rights. This is a direct violation of China’s Constitution, article 39, which states that, “Chinese citizen’s rights for residence are free from any violation. It is forbidden that citizen’s residence is searched or invaded without legal course/ procedure.”

Moreover, the people restricting the freedom of Gao’s family members are also violating their personal liberty and human dignity. This is a direct violation of China’s Constitution, article 37, which states that, “Chinese citizen’s personal liberty shall not be violated. It is forbidden to illegally detain, or in other such measures illegally deprive people from their liberty and illegally search people’s body.”

In particular, these violations are made against the rights of Gao’s two young children. Such infringements of children’s rights are not only in defiance of existing Chinese law, but also a violation of the UN Child Rights Convention, and are, in general, an offense to fundamental ethical values.

These actions have already violated fundamental human rights standards. Not only have they brought enormous harm to the affected people, but have also created an appalling precedence. We therefore call upon all people to show concern about such activities and to stop it from continuing.

We call upon the Beijing Police and other public servants to abandon such inhumane and illegal actions and return to the fair execution of order based on the rule of law. We therefore make the following demands:

Immediately remove anybody who is illegally living in Gao’s private residence;
Immediately remove the restrictions placed upon the liberty of Gao’s wife, Geng He, and his two Children;
Hold accountable any and all officers and decision-makers who were involved in rights violations against Gao Zhisheng’s family and discipline them according to the law.

We also urge any NGOs, international organizations, and particularly women rights and children rights groups to: express concern for this situation, immediately intervene in this case, monitor the behavior of the Beijing Police, and help stop this situation from escalating into further rights abuses.

Anybody interested in signing this petition letter, please send your name, including your country and your profession, to the following email address: freebornchina@gmail.com. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

(Translated by Rights & Empowerment Institute)

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