As the Chinese communist regime prepares for the upcoming CCP Party Congress in Beijing, The Epoch Times interviewed Chinese lawyer Guo Guoting, who currently resides in Canada, on the communist regime's human rights abuses and the recent re-arrest of prominent human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.
ET: Lawyer Gao Zhisheng has been called the "conscience of China" and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. How did he become so famous?
Guo: He became famous starting from the end of 2004 because he wrote three letters. First he wrote to China's National Peoples' Congress . In this letter, he, as a human rights lawyer, revealed the terrible, horrible persecution of Falun Gong in China. He was put under surveillance by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), but his courage and persistence against the communist regime is unbelievable. He went on to write a second and third letter, based on his investigation of about 15 days.
This was the first time in China a lawyer revealed such torture of Falun Gong practitioners. This kind of evidence is believable because before that, although Falun Gong practitioners had already made a lot of claims, they themselves did so, not a third-party or an independent lawyer. In this way the three letters made Gao well known in China and even in the world.
After the three letters, Mr. Gao continued to openly fight for freedom in China. He never surrendered, and persisted for about one year until he was arrested in August 2006. This also made him famous, because nobody will do that in China. Everyone, almost every intelligent writer or scholar, knows the situation in China, but they don't want to do so themselves, yet Mr. Gao stood up and persisted, so this is really respected by the people.
Another important reason that made him famous is the Internet—because the Chinese communist regime cannot control the Internet totally. But recently when I checked with several university students who are abroad to study for higher degrees, when I asked whether they know about Gao, Guo Feixiong, or some other Chinese lawyers, they do not know. It is very strange.
ET: What role will Mr. Gao have in the future of China?
Guo: I believe he will become a very famous politician in China, even compete in future to be the elected president. He has become so famous because he is a lawyer who knows Chinese law and has a lot of experience in law practice. He also knows China's political system, legal system, and the evils of the CCP. These have made him a hero in China and in the world.
ET: You mentioned about the Internet, but there are still students unaware of the situation of Gao and other lawyers. Why is that?
Guo: They are law students and don't know, so I am surprised. This means that ordinary students cannot see this information on the Internet—because Google, Yahoo, and other websites are all controlled by the government of China. Only those who know the software that can break the firewall can see. Only those who have a strong idea of wanting to fight for freedom, who care about their political freedom, ideas, and expression, they will be concerned. Most of the people in China nowadays are not concerned and just think of their own benefits and interests.
China's education system is also controlled by the CCP. Professors have become very cowardly, with no courage at all, so they do not care and discuss this issue. The majority of Chinese professors have become slaves, I think. They have no free ideas and do not express their free thought.
ET: Then what is the status of the law profession in China? There is an All China Lawyers Association (ACLA) that represents lawyers in China. Is Gao different from other lawyers?
Guo: Gao's personality makes him very special. The All China Lawyers Association actually is a type of sub-governmental organization. It is not so-called "civil society" and is totally different from Western countries' lawyers' associations. It is not independent at all, but totally controlled by the CCP, so it has become a tool of the CCP. Its lawyers dare not speak out what they are thinking. They are not elected by the lawyers. The leaders of the association are mostly appointed by the CCP. Only recently has this changed. There are so-called "elections," but fundamentally there is no change at all.
In China so many human rights lawyers were persecuted by the CCP. ACLA just keeps silent. There are at least 12 human rights lawyers persecuted by the Chinese government. They openly defend Falun Gong, but the lawyers association never supports them.
ET: China is signatory to a number of UN conventions, and is preparing to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, such as by changing some of its laws to comply with international standards. Can you please comment on this?
Guo: This question is the subject I'm studying. Actually when the Chinese government amends laws to meet the so-called "international standards," it does not really want to do so at all. In this covenant the basic principle is human dignity, fundamental freedoms, and human rights. But the CCP first took away the Chinese people's human rights, then their fundamental freedoms, then their human dignity. Nowadays the CCP will do everything to cheat and lie internationally, to fool people in the world. Western countries do not understand the Chinese government or the CCP. They are evil beyond imagination, beyond ordinary people's imagination. They are liars, and not honest at all.
What they do [in amending the laws], even they themselves do not believe in it. The CCP has never respected human rights or the rule of law. There is no rule of law at all, because in China there is no independent media, independent legal system or judicial system, and no independent court. The CCP controls all the judges, prosecutors, and public security officers. All are CCP members. In this way, there is no such thing as so-called "civil rights" or "political rights."
Although the Chinese Constitution speaks of these rights, and says that the Chinese people enjoy freedom of thought and expression, none of these articles in the Constitution are executed in the real world. This is because if China really were to have freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, or freedom to form a union, then the communist regime would be broken immediately. Maybe in two or three months it would totally lose power. This is why the CCP will never give up control.
One thing is very simple: In China, even human rights lawyers have no human rights, how can ordinary people have so–called "human rights"?
So all they are doing is just to fool the people in the world, fool other countries. In my opinion, as long as the CCP survives, it will be absolutely impossible for China to go to democracy or rule of law, never.
ET: Mr. Gao called for boycott of the Olympic Games.
Guo: This problem is a little complicated, because as you see, ordinary Chinese, really many Chinese people, welcome the Olympic Games in China. For the ordinary citizens, especially those whose rights or properties are not touched by the CCP, they don't care about the victims who suffer. They themselves do not suffer; they are not victims. They enjoy the system, so they welcome the Olympic Games.
But for so many, for the huge number of human rights cases, the poor people, the citizens evicted from their homes, the thousands working in the city with very low income and no guarantees at all, the many Falun Gong practitioners persecuted by the CCP, and those in the so-called "family church" who are being persecuted, I don't think they welcome the Olympic Games. They personally feel great fear, how can they want the Games?
I understand why Mr. Gao is against China holding the Olympic Games, because if the CCP succeeds as host of the Games, this will support the Chinese government and the CCP and let them prove that their government is legal. Actually, the Chinese government is illegal, because it was never elected by the people of China. In over 55 years, there has never been any election in China. The CCP stole power and rules China based on violence, the police and army, and also based on cheating and control of the media. The CCP wants to prove it is a legal government.
As the CCP spends huge amounts of money to prepare for the Games, only those in high power and enjoy a special privileged life, this small number of CCP officials can gain a lot of money upon injustice.
I personally am also against China in this situation to hold the so-called Olympic Games. We only welcome the Olympic Games to be held in China when China becomes a free country.
Award-winning Chinese human rights lawyer Guo Guoting practised law for over 20 years in Shanghai. In 2003 Guo began a human rights and civil rights law practice. For his defence of journalists, cyber-dissidents, fellow civil rights lawyers, and in particular Falun Gong practitioners, Chinese communist authorities revoked his license to practise in early 2005 and placed him under house arrest and criminal investigation. Due to international appeal efforts, Guo was released and safely arrived in Canada in May 2005. He now lives in Victoria, B.C.