Daily Archives: 13/08/2019

China: “The Bravest Lawyer in China” – Gao Zhisheng

August 13, 2019

The first case was that of Cai Zhuohua, a pastor at a house church in Beijing who, together with members of his family, was arrested for operating an illegal business after printing multiple copies of the Bible. It was the first time I witnessed Gao’s grace and eloquence in court. The court disrespected the lawful right of Cai’s mother to observe the hearing, and Gao denounced the judge with fervent conviction. After that, Gao and I would often attend services at house churches in Beijing and he even got baptized later.

Another case we took on was the case of Shaanxi Oil. At the time, one of the lawyers on the case, Zhu Jiuhu, was arrested and imprisoned at the Shaanxi Yulin Detention Centre. We went to represent him and took pictures at the entrance before we left. Not long after, more than a dozen armed policemen rushed towards us and interrogated us for taking those pictures. They thought they could frighten us, but we were experienced in such interrogation and firmly rebutted them. After that, Gao lamented, “If this is how they treat lawyers in suits, can you imagine what they’d do to the people living around here?”

On the way back, we stopped by Gao’s home in Jiaxian and squatted in the courtyard eating noodles. I will never forget his cave home, his taciturn brother and the dry and barren land that surrounded us.

A coal miner turned lawyer

Gao Zhisheng came from humble beginnings. His father passed away when he was 11. At 16, he was admitted to a prestigious high school but had to drop out because he could not afford the tuition. Before he became a lawyer at 31, he worked a variety of jobs – he picked Chinese herbs in the mountains, worked as a coal miner, soldier and vegetable vendor, and labored in a cement factory. He experienced all kinds of hardships and had a deep understanding of inequality and injustices in China.

After becoming a lawyer, Gao set a few rules for himself. One was that a third of his cases had to be pro-bono lawsuits for low-income groups. He said: “I came from a poor family. I know how poor people feel so I know what I have to do … but helping others should not be an act of charity.”

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/08/bravest-lawyer-china-gao-zhisheng/

https://m.theepochtimes.com/an-unprecedented-evil-persecution-chapter-ten-silent-atrocities_3022485.html

https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/latest-news/news/2019/07/31/statement-by-the-spokesperson-of-the-eu-on-the-trial-of-chinese-human-rights-activist-huang-qi

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/family-08142019110446.html

https://www.theepochtimes.com/trump-will-work-to-oppose-the-forces-of-repression-for-dissedent-chinese-lawyer_3038733.html

http://www.jeromecohen.net/jerrys-blog/the-bravest-lawyer-in-china-gao-zhisheng

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_Zhisheng

https://www.amnesty.be/infos/nos-blogs/blog-paroles-de-chercheurs-de-defenseurs-et-de-victimes/gao-zhisheng-disparition?lang=fr (FRANCAIS)

https://www.amnesty.fr/liberte-d-expression/actualites/gao-zhisheng-est-un-eminent-avocat-specialise-dans (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_Zhisheng (FRANCAIS)

China/EU: Statement by the Spokesperson on the trial of Chinese human rights activist Huang Qi

July 30, 2019

EEAS logo

Prominent Chinese human rights activist and journalist Mr Huang Qi, founder of the website 64 Tianwang who for a number of years has monitored human rights violations in China and promoted freedom of press, was put on trial behind closed doors on 14 January 2019 at the Mianyang City Intermediate Court in Sichuan Province. He was sentenced in a non-public trial on 29 July to 12 years on charges of “illegally providing State secrets to foreign entities” and “intentionally leaking State secrets”.

In April 2018, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that Mr Huang’s deprivation of liberty was arbitrary and in contravention with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The defendant’s rights under China’s Criminal Procedure Law and international law obligations to a fair trial, without undue delay, and to proper defence and access to a lawyer of his own choice, have not been respected. Neither his family nor the lawyer it had appointed were able to attend the trial.

In line with their declared aim of strengthening the rule of law, we expect the Chinese authorities to abide by China’s international law obligations, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and respect the rights of all citizens as guaranteed by China’s Constitution.

The European Union expects the immediate release of Huang Qi, as well as other detained and convicted human rights defenders and lawyers including Yu Wensheng, Wang Quanzhang, Qin Yongmin, Gao Zhisheng, Ilham Tohti, Tiyip Tashpolat, Tashi Wangchuk, Li Yuhan, Wu Gan and Liu Feiyue.

https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/66021/statement-spokesperson-trial-chinese-human-rights-activist-huang-qi_en

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/detention-huang-qi

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/china-strips-rights-lawyer-li-134949385.html

https://m.theepochtimes.com/trump-will-work-to-oppose-the-forces-of-repression-for-dissedent-chinese-lawyer_3038733.html

https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/chilling-story-behind-fan-bingbings-disappearance/news-story/58fc11758fe171e8fb9c36eb54c5831d

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Quanzhang

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/yu-wensheng

https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/66101/node/66101_fr (FRANCAIS)