(Tenafly, NJ) The Chinese government’s arrest of an outspoken human rights attorney has sparked indignation and concern in the U.S. After several months of surveillance and harassment, Gao Zhisheng was taken from his sister’s home in Shandong Province on August 15. Three days later, the Beijing Public Security Bureau admitted in state-run media that he had been arrested. Mr. Gao has raised the ire of government officials for his staunch advocacy on behalf of underground Christian groups, Falun Gong practitioners, and others whom China’s Communist regime has labeled dissidents.
Mr. Gao now faces perhaps his most daunting legal battle in trying to secure his own freedom. Mr. Gao’s nephew was also arrested after he attempted to secure legal representation for his uncle. To enable Mr. Gao’s North American supporters to contribute to his legal defense, Friends of Falun Gong USA (FoFG) has established the Gao Zhisheng Legal Defense Fund.
“Friends of Falun Gong strongly supports Mr. Gao’s fearless stance in representing the rights of Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience in China,” says the organization’s executive director Alan Adler. “As increasing numbers of Chinese citizens assert their constitutional rights, the Chinese Communist Party becomes more and more repressive. The arrest of Gao Zhisheng is an act of desperation and we want to do all that we can to secure his release.”
Friends of Falun Gong USA is a nonprofit human rights organization founded in the year 2000 to protect the freedom of belief of persons who practice Falun Gong. FoFG supports projects designed to counteract the Chinese government’s global, massive propaganda campaign, and protect the rights of people who practice Falun Gong. These efforts include media campaigns highlighting China’s atrocities against its own people; technology developed to break China’s information blockade; lawsuits targeting the architects of the persecution; and support of asylum-seekers.
The organization is accepting contributions to Gao Zhisheng’s legal defense fund at: 24 W. Railroad Avenue, #124, Tenafly, NJ 07670.