Police Threaten Gao Zhisheng's Wife for Hiring Attorney
On the December 1, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) secretly sued China's human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who will be “tried” next month. The CCP is still prohibiting Gao from meeting with his lawyer.
Shortly after Gao's wife Geng He signed a formal request that Attorney Mo Shaoping represent her, she was threatened by Beijing police to void the contract. Attorney Mo Shaoping points out that this is a severe violation of the Chinese constitution.
Gao's Wife Requests Mo Shaoping as Defense Lawyer
After 115 days of isolation, Geng He went to Attorney Mo Shaoping's practicing office and requested him to speak in defense of her husband on December 7.
While Geng was at Mo's office, Beijing police went to her home and returned the bank account passbook, two non-functioning cell phones and a damaged computer they had confiscated during a search on August 15. The police told Geng's mother, “The outcome of this case will be determined solely by the authorities; it's useless to hire a lawyer,” hinting that they knew of Geng He's whereabouts.
Beijing Police Threaten Gao's Wife
On December 8, a day after Geng He signed the Warrant of Attorney (the legal document requesting an attorney's services), the department head of Beijing security force specializing in Gao Zhisheng's case, Sun Wei, went to Gao's home. Geng He did not answer the door.
When Geng He opened the door to go grocery shopping, Sun Wei and his men barged in and told Geng He to immediately withdraw her application to Attorney Mo, saying that her actions would not benefit anyone.
The police tried for more than six hours to persuade her, using both hard and soft tactics, but Geng still refused to cancel the warrant.
Police Actions Violate Law and Constitution
Attorney Mo's opinion on the incident is that it is seriously illegal. Mo said, “Anybody, no matter what the alleged crime is, has the right to obtain a lawyer's help and defense. This is the right of every citizen regulated by the law of the Constitution.”
Both Gao's brother and wife have requested attorney Mo's help. Because of interference from the Beijing Judiciary Department, Mo has not yet seen the defendant, though the case has already entered the trial period.
This situation was difficult for Geng He and Gao's daughter Gege to understand. They asked, “What tactics did [the police] use to dissuade attorney Gao from requesting a lawyer?”
The CCP Worries About Geng He's Moral Calling
When human rights activist Hu Jia first heard of the incident, he angrily said, “Did they bullied Geng He just because she is a woman and lacks enough strength to fight back? They just decided to break into her home and stayed for a couple of hours? These police are just rascals. What else would they do?”
Hu Jia suggested that Geng is the most appropriate trustee for attorney Gao's case. He reasoned that Geng has strong morals and has experienced heavy grief and pressure from her involvement with Gao's case. Her personal appearance would gain more public attention, and is very likely to become a news focus that the CCP will desperately want to block. Now, police have begun to discourage Geng by all possible means from getting involved in the case.
Geng's personal request makes the attorney feel the great weight of his responsibility. Alternatively, if Geng were forced to void the warrant it would be a blow to the attorney who is already risking so much.
Hu Jia said, “Those police beat Geng He shamelessly, which in turn strengthened her resolve! This time she didn't step back. This is a success.”
According to feedback from Hu Jia, Geng is worried that the CCP might illegally and secretly try attorney Gao without notifying his lawyer or relatives.