Parliaments & politicians In response to the arrest of well-known Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, the Belgian Senate filed a proposal for a resolution last week. The resolution endorses the recent resolution of the European Parliament and reports from human rights organisations. The resolution was passed on Tuesday October 24th by the Belgian Foreign Affairs Committee and on Thursday October 26th at the plenary session.
Sexual assault Gao Zhisheng has been praised as “the conscience of Chinese lawyers” and “a great hero”. China’s Ministry of Justice rated him one of China’s top ten lawyers in 2001. He has earned a reputation for courage in standing up against human rights abuses and is one of only a handful of lawyers in China who will defend those persecuted for their religious or spiritual beliefs. He wrote two letters to President Hu Jintao in which he describes his extensive research and calls to stop prosecuting people who believe in freedom. From then on, Gao and his family have been watched 24 hours a day by hordes of police officers. He was threatened and his law firm was illegally closed. Here is an excerpt from Gao's third letter.
Witness accounts After a meeting with human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice-President, European Parliament, wrote a letter to him in which he states: "My conclusions are that the Chinese regime remains brutal, arbitrary and paranoid ... I urge all members of the CCP to recognise that the horrors perpetrated in its name – the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Massacres – are held to be responsible for some 80 million deaths."