Wife of Jailed Chinese Lawyer Appeals to Obama Administration
Geng He, wife of imprisoned Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng called on President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to raise their voices for her husband’s release, in an interview Jan 30 with the Sound of Hope Radio network (SOH).
Geng fled China with the couple’s two children in 2009, and they are currently living in the United States. Gao Zhisheng has been in and out of prison and brutally tortured for his outspokenness about the lack of human rights in China and for defending members of blacklisted groups, including Falun Gong practitioners.
With the Chinese New Year near, Geng He said: “I am a lonely stranger in a foreign land. With each passing holiday, I miss my family all the more.”
Geng said she appreciates all the efforts by Western political leaders and other kindhearted people to draw attention to her husband’s situation and try to rescue him.
In particular, Geng mentioned a letter she received from the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and from U.S. Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Va.).
Wolf “adopted” Gao on Dec. 6, 2012 as part of the newly founded “Defending Freedoms Project” that aims to have members of Congress adopt and advocate for the release of a prisoner of conscience worldwide.
“I really appreciate their advocating for Gao Zhisheng’s freedom,” Geng told SOH. “I mailed the letter to Gao Zhisheng and our families to let them know the U.S. government still cares about him.”
On Jan. 12, after nearly 10 months of being refused, Gao’s two brothers were given permission to see Gao at the remote Shaya Prison in Xinjiang Province. However they were not allowed to ask Gao any questions about the treatment and life inside the prison.
Geng said she hopes that the international community can apply more pressure on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to release Gao and that attention to Gao’s situation should be continuous. She especially advocated letter-writing campaigns.
“During the Chinese New Year and Gao Zhisheng’s birthday, you can send Gao a card or write him a letter. If Gao is not able to receive them, at least the prison police receive them. They will know that so many people care about Gao. They will also get to know what a kind person Gao is. I hope the police will treat him better,” Geng said.
Geng also made an appeal to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton.
“Since Gao Zhisheng was arrested in August 2006, the persecution of him is still ongoing. I think U.S. high level government officials like President Obama and the Secretary of State should raise their voices.
“Gao Zhisheng has suffered so many years of persecution, and the lawyer we hired for him is not allowed to get involved. No one is allowed to ask anything about Gao Zhisheng’s situation.
“We hope that our families at least have the right to visit him, send letters, and have conversations with him. These are all things we need to fight for.”
Geng told SOH that for Martin Luther King’s Day on January 21, her son’s school teacher asked the students to share something about their parents that makes them proud. Geng said she told her son about the hardships his father experienced during childhood and why the Chinese regime has been persecuting him.
“I told him: ‘When your father became an attorney, he helped poor people with their cases and suffered persecution for it. Your father’s dream is that China can become strong and prosperous like the United States, and that China can also have democracy, human rights, and freedom of belief like the United States. Your father’s dream is the same as Martin Luther King’s.’
“My son answered: ‘Wow, that’s great! My dream is the same as my dad’s, and my dad’s dream is the same as Martin Luther King’s!'”
Translated by Jenny Yang and written in English by Gisela Sommer.
Read the original Chinese article.
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