Renowned Beijing human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng was sentenced to three years imprisonment with a probation period of five years for “instigating subversion of state power” at the end of last year. Although he was subsequently released, he is still under the tight scrutiny of the authorities who have cut off all means of communication with him and the outside world.
On February 15, famous Beijing rights activist Hu Jia, who has been placed under house arrest for 214 days, wrote a letter to attorney Gao. Below is the full contents of his letter to Gao and his wife Geng He.
My dear brother Gao Zhisheng and sister-in-law Geng He:
Since your return on December 22, 2006, many friends and I have been thinking of you. The lack of news from you makes us more concerned of the pressure you and your family are facing. Later on, we learned that you have gone back to your hometown in Shandong, Northern Shaanxi to visit your elder sister Gao Yanfang and brother Gao Zhiyi as well as pay respects to your mother whom you respected dearly at the end of last December and early January this year. However, all your movements were tightly scrutinized by Beijing national security brigade police.
For the entire latter half of the year 2006, your case was full of suspicions and there were many instances where the procuratorate and other legal departments flouted the law. People have never seen China's police mobilize such huge resources just for one person. The evil police from Beijing Municipal National Security Brigade even verbally humiliated your wife and daughter and used violence….. Do you know that your wife and daughter have suffered even more than you when you were in custody. They were in living hell for 130 days. Your whole family are citizens with dignity, we will temporarily record this debt incurred by the roguish Chinese Communist regime. They must be brought to justice for their crimes. I was subpoenaed thrice for being a suspect in your case. The police officers who interrogated me were also the same officers responsible for interrogating you. They are bureau chief Zhao Guichu and Sun Wei from the Beijing Municipal Public Security preliminary hearing bureau fourth squad and Beijing Municipal National Security Brigade respectively. However, the police could do nothing but investigate your articles, speech and social dealings repeatedly. Simply because of a few articles, you were sentenced for instigating subversion. This is ridiculous. Currently, I am still being placed under house arrest and cannot visit your family. This is regretful. But many friends have told me that there are still National Security Brigade policemen on duty outside your house presently. European and Japanese reporters wanting to visit and interview you after January 1 were detained, interrogated and expelled by plain clothes policemen, openly violating the interview regulations for the 2008 Olympic Games. Indeed, it is no different from serving sentence at home except that you are reunited with your wife and daughter which is a consolation.
The year 2006 is the darkest and most painful year for you and your whole family. At present, you and your wife should look after each other, take care of your health, read, think, and educate your son and daughter. A day will come when all the truth will be revealed and true freedom for your whole family will not be far away. I believe that someday everyone will hear your experience, and all records related to your case will be publicized in front of the whole world.
Yours friends in the outside world are concerned about your circumstances. They respect your choice and understand the difficulties you are facing. If you have any problems, please let us know anytime. Wishing brother Gao and sister-in-law, your children Gege and Tianyu a happy lunar new year from afar. Wishing you peace and prosperity in the year of the pig.
Hu Jia 214th day of house arrest at home