Chinese Christian Human Rights Watchdog Group Releases Activist’s Essay
In an essay written by missing Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, the Christian activist says that in the past three-plus years, the Chinese government authorities “invested a great deal of manpower, physical resources and funds, and employed the most merciless methods, to achieve their goal of silencing” him.
The essay was written by Gao just days before his family escaped to the United States in January 2009. His wife, Geng He, carried the letter with her to her new homeland, and has now authorized its release in advance of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s upcoming Jan. 18-21 visit to Washington, D.C. in hopes that it will draw more attention to her husband’s continued disappearance and win his release from illegal government custody.
The essay, entitled “Words from the Heart,” is being circulated to Christian media in the U.S. by ChinaAid, a Christian human rights watch-dog organization that has been monitoring the case of Gao’s arrest, disappearance, imprisonment and torture apparently at the hands of Chinese authorities.
Gao writes: “Under Heaven’s watchful eye and in this vast free and civilized world, there is no evil that the Chinese Communist Party would recoil from or is incapable of. It is truly shocking!”
He states: “Among 1.3 billion fellow citizens, my family is so bereft of support and helpless.
“Prior to September 2007, there were only four people in all of China who refused to listen to the Chinese Communist Party and persisted in openly being friends with me. As a result, one of them is constantly being followed by the police and the other three were kidnapped in September and suffered brutal beatings and mental torture. In 2008, (AIDS activist and Buddhist believer) Hu Jia, who continued to refuse to heed the Party, was illegally detained. (Human rights activist) Huang Yan was kidnapped and imprisoned with Falun Gong practitioners where she suffered cruel torture. In addition, Huang saw and heard and with her own eyes and ears torture of Falun Gong adherents that was even more terrifying. Under the threat of torture, no one in China today dares to communicate openly with me.”
Gao said that not only is it now extremely difficult for him to make his voice heard, but is also extremely dangerous.
“In the past three-plus years, the authorities invested a great deal of manpower, physical resources and funds, and employed the most merciless methods, to achieve their goal of silencing me,” he wrote.
“Even when I traveled out of town last November and stayed in a hotel, a policeman was in my very room, putting me under intimate surveillance. They have actually achieved their goal of turning me into a living but useless thing. I often tell my wife Geng jokingly: ‘Six billion people live together in our global village, but our family is severed from the rest of the world.’
“Outsiders may feel that my family’s life is unspeakably miserable, but actually, it is my wife who has suffered the most. I am optimistic by nature, and I am a Christian. Even when I was tortured to near-death, the pain was only in the physical body. A heart that is filled with God has no room to entertain pain and suffering. I and my two children often loudly sing songs together, but my wife never joins us. All my efforts are insufficient to wipe out my wife’s suffering.”
Gao continues: “Her suffering is rooted in the fact that our daughter, Gege, cannot go to school. After she was forbidden to go to school, I also was in despair for a while, feeling that nothing could be more traumatic to me than this. Shocked and outraged, I continuously protested to the authorities. My wife, Geng He, is on the brink of a mental breakdown over this matter.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to appeal to those friends on the mainland who still enjoy a certain measure of freedom to continue to show your concern for (human rights lawyer) Guo Feixiong, and to help his wife and children. Today, when the Communist Party’s hired thugs are everywhere, when our nation’s spirit has deteriorated into a rare state of stagnation, we need heroes like Guo who fight for the people. These courageous heroes –Guo Feixiong, Hu Jia, (veteran dissident writer and blogger) Yang Tianshui, (blind legal activist) Chen Guangcheng, (democracy and human rights activist) Xu Wanping, (senior political activist) Wang Bingzhang and (China New Democracy Party founder) Guo Quan — who sacrifice and risk their lives to defend religious freedom are the true hope of China. If we offer more help to them and their loved ones today, there will be less that we need to be ashamed of when our children and grandchildren look back on this chapter of history.”
Goa goes on to say that in today’s China, people know in their hearts that it is extremely difficult to live as a kind and moral person.
“Hu Jia’s fate further demonstrates this harsh reality of our society: it is not only difficult but also dangerous to be a morally righteous person. Since ancient times, people have long believed that kindness will be repaid with kindness, and evil with evil, but today, when the Communist Party’s culture has infiltrated into every aspect of practical life, this belief has been fatally destroyed. In traditional Chinese society, people who cherished and protected virtue and kindness were everywhere, but in today’s China, the upholding of moral values and goodness has been swept away and uprooted. The Chinese communist regime has become the synonymous with immorality and evil.”
Gao says that China’s so-called economic miracle has been achieved at the price of this “fatal destruction.”
“What people are jumping for joy over is a superficial prosperity resulting from distorted economic progress. Meanwhile they turn a blind eye to the horrific damage to China’s environment and the reality that so far nearly 70 percent of Chinese have been placed in the inhumane situation of having no guarantee of any social rights whatsoever. In today’s China, villagers living in areas traditionally abundant in water resources have no water to drink, those living in traditional dairy farming areas have no milk to drink, farmers are afraid to eat their own harvests, and food manufacturers are afraid to eat their own food products. This already has been the reality for some time. People deceive themselves and insist that a deer is a horse. Calling what’s beautiful ugly and what’s ugly beautiful has already become fashionable in society. Meanwhile, in the midst of all this, the bad example set by the Chinese Communist Party of dishonesty and immorality is rampant.”
Gao states: “The depraved government of China makes regulations to suppress the good and encourage evil, causing evil people to get the upper hand.
“In any competition, whoever has power will always prevail; whoever is without morals will also prevail. This is how elite groups are formed. A justice system without justice, where evil cops have the upper hand, just produces hate and contempt among the people for those power groups that arose from the unjust economic reforms. The protests and violence taking place all over the country are an inauspicious warning bell that China is headed into yet another cycle of violence.”
Gao comments that in Chinese society today, national spirit has been devastated.
“In the whole of society, it is not just that a few people are seriously corrupt, but rather that the majority of people are generally morally degenerate. While the powers that be took great pride in hosting the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the Games allowed the regime to enforce its totalitarian rule upon this grand sports event, replacing the Olympic spirit with its spirit of totalitarianism. The mass, choreographed performances at the Games fit right into the dictatorial culture of the regime to hype the image of the so-called ‘peaceful rise’ of China. In this process, the command performances of singing and dancing covered up the tragic cries for help from people at the bottom of Chinese society and covered up the Communist Party’s evil acts of trampling on human rights.
“When I was in Xinjiang, I learned that the crowds that cheered for the Olympic torch relays along the streets were organized by the Chinese authorities. A warning was also verbally communicated through work units to each and every family along the Olympic torch relay route: ‘No one is to open his window or door. No one is to raise any banner or shout slogans. Otherwise, you will be shot by snipers who are to be stationed everywhere on the streets, and you will be solely responsible for the consequences.’ People didn’t see the fake preparations that were behind all the hoopla: on the surface, it was all celebration and harmony, but underneath, it was naked threats, brazen use of force and intimidation. This is how the Communist Party controls the people and suppresses the different voices of the Chinese people in order to present its false image of China to the world.”
Gao goes on to explain that, “Most of the power players in China clearly realize that all these false impressions created by the Communist Party cannot save it from its inevitable demise. When the hoopla is over, corrupt officials and evil police go back to their old ways, and protests rise up anew all over China.”
Gao writes that he would like to take this opportunity to express his gratitude to those people overseas who have been sincerely concerned about China’s future.
“I would like to urge more overseas Chinese to work together for a democratic China. I would like to urge overseas groups working for democracy, rights protection and religious freedom to work together and persevere in advocating for a peaceful transformation of China into a democratic state. I would like to suggest establishing a human rights committee to represent each and every victim of China’s human rights violations. After all, there are more victims of human rights abuses in China than one could ever count. We should make every effort to collect information about every single known case of human rights abuse and present them to the U.N. Human Rights Commission and the human rights organs of countries around the world. I would also recommend founding a ‘Human Rights’ newspaper to report daily on human rights violations and to publish the victims’ names and cities so the truth of the huge body of the tragedies of China’s human rights violations can displayed before the world. The proposed human rights committee should have branches in every province and major city, with their work focused on collecting reports about and supporting cases of human rights abuse. The committee can have working groups to handle issues of religious freedom, petitioners’ problems, farmland seizures, and June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy crackdown problems. To be able to act in a real and concrete way on behalf of actual victims of human rights abuses, that is the basis of the value of a constitutional democracy.”
Gao also takes the opportunity to suggest “that people take action to unite all Chinese who are against totalitarian rule, including those ethnic groups seeking autonomy, and through broadcast networks and other means make known the benefits to the nation and the people of a federal autonomous union of provinces.
“For instance,” he says, “it will lead to the realization of autonomy for ethnic groups as naturally as water finds channels to flow in. It will also develop health care, pensions and other universal social welfare benefits; develop an independent judicial system; make good on a promise that all actual victims of dictatorial government persecution will get government compensation every year paid out from a fund that is a certain percentage of the national budget; criminally prosecute those who committed the worst of the Communist Party’s evil acts. We need to effectively disseminate these ideas the way the doctrines of the ‘Nine Commentaries’ were disseminated, so as to awaken our countrymen.”
Gao especially calls for groups in China and overseas to make every effort to rescue Guo Quan and Liu Xiaobo. The arrest of Liu Xiaobo laid bare the utter shamelessness of this regime, he said.
“Also, I cannot help but say a few words to those in the Chinese democracy and human rights movements. Currently many democracy and human rights advocates are no longer activists; rather, they have become fame-seeking opportunists. They turn a blind eye to the persecution by the Chinese Communist regime of Falun Gong practitioners as if nothing were happening when it is actually the most horrifying and cruel persecution in the history of China’s disasters. After I publicly spoke out for Falun Gong practitioners, those who contacted me in private called me radical. This kind of ‘consensus’ view has fed the greatest evil ever committed in China, and added fuel to the fire of the persecution inflicted on our countrymen. The hunger strike I started was peaceful and lawful, but those fame-seeking democracy activists, instead of showing any support, came at me from all sides and criticized me in all manner of ways. The writers among them even raised up the banner of ‘justice’ to attack me from behind. They didn’t stop even after I was behind bars — I can only sigh with regret over this. Why did they do this? I don’t get many opportunities to speak out anymore, so today I must make this explicitly clear: Those are actions by the dark side of human nature, the selfish nature! Stop it! No matter how skillfully you articulate your shameless views, it’s all in vain. After enduring torture, these are the words of my suffering heart. While not pleasant to hear, they are definitely not spoken with a voice of anger.”
Gao explains the Chinese Communist Party has “good friends” and “good partners” all over the world today.
“They all should be well aware of the reality of the anti-civilization nature of the Chinese Communist Party, the darkest regime of the current times. However, many of these ‘good friends’ and ‘good partners’ of the Chinese Communist Party, in pursuit of material benefits, have become a part of this black government. In the case of some other ‘good friends’ and ‘good partners’ of the Party, they have been blinded by the Party’s exquisite lies. They are totally ignorant of the Communist Party’s basic evil nature, and they even sing the Party’s praises even though what they see is a sham.”
Finally, Gao says ‘thank you’ to “those foreign friends who truly care about human rights in China.”
He cites Mr. Scott, Mr. Norwalk, the two Mr. Davids in Canada, “and the ladies and gentlemen of the European Union!
“You gave us your selfless moral support, and your support is the basis of our hope in fighting for freedom and human rights.”
Gao concludes with an ominous prediction: “The publication of this article will cause me to be kidnapped again. Kidnappings are a normal part of my life now. If it comes again, then let it come!”
The letter is signed by Gao Zhisheng, and dated Jan. 1, 2009.
Further information on this essay and the issues it raises may be obtained by e-mailing or calling one of the following ChinaAid Contacts:
Tracy Oliver, Media Coordinator
Tel: (267) 210-8278, or Tracy@ChinaAid.org
Mark Shan, CAA Spokesperson
Tel: (267) 205-5210, or Mark@ChinaAid.org
Websites: www.ChinaAid.org and www.MonitorChina.or