News about Falun Dafa and the human rights crises in China
Falun Dafa Information centre

Persecuted lawyers

When the Communist Party launched the campaign against Falun Gong, among the first measures taken was to instruct lawyers not to defend practitioners. Indeed, in the early years of the persecution, it was incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for Falun Gong practitioners to find genuine legal representation. This has changed in recent years, however, as a generation of lawyers and rights defenders have defied Party directives and taken the cases of Falun Gong adherents.

Among the first lawyers representing Falun Gong practitioners in court was the forthright Gao Zhisheng. Since then, more than twelve lawyers followed in his footsteps. They risked their lives by calling into question the fundamental basis of the entire policy against Falun Gong, protesting it as a violation of Chinese citizens’ freedom of belief.

In response to their efforts, Gao and other rights defenders have themselves faced persecution at the hands of the authorities and have been subjected to disbarment, detention, beatings, torture and in at least one case, exile. Despite such risks, many have continued to defend Falun Gong.

Articles in this category

On 15th anniversary of appeal in Beijing, courage increasingly defies suppression 23/05/2014

Human rights lawyers, common citizens peacefully challenge chinese regime's campaign against Falun Gong

Persecuted lawyers NEW YORK – Human rights lawyers and defiant citizens alike are increasingly taking a public, unprecedented stand against the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong in China. Just a few years ago, such acts were unheard of.

Jailed Chinese lawyer Gao Zhisheng wins award 10/08/2012

Persecuted lawyers Renowned Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng was conferred the “Ten Best Human Rights Defence Lawyers Award” by the Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Association (CHRLA) on July 24th. As Gao remains imprisoned in China, his wife Geng He accepted the award on Gao’s behalf at Capitol Hill.

Twitter post claims Gao Zhisheng is dead 19/02/2012

Chinese Human Rights lawyer missing since april 2010

Persecuted lawyers An unconfirmed report of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng’s death has been posted on China’s Internet. On November 17th, a netizen with the screen name GuaDai posted a message on Twitter saying “It is believed that Gao Zhisheng passed away on November 15th in Inner Mongolia where he was detained. Man will die eventually, and to die for the sake of freedom, although dead, he is still with us in spirit.”

Chinese human rights lawyer recounts torture 17/06/2011

Witness accounts In December 2004, the noted human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng wrote his first open letter to China’s top leaders An Open Letter to China's National People's Congress. That was followed by an open letter to Hu Jintao, the head of the Chinese Communist Party, and Wen Jiabao, China's premier Stop Persecuting Believers in Freedom and Mend Your Ties with the Chinese People.


Gao Zhisheng’s new article: Speaking from my heart 04/02/2011

Witness accounts Editor’s note: In 2007 the Chinese civil rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng wrote the article Dark Night, Dark Hood, and Kidnapping by Dark Mafia, which gives a harrowing account of 50 days of torture he endured at the hands of Chinese security agents in September, October, and November 2007. The article was released for publication after Gao was once again arrested on February 6th, 2009. Gao’s wife, Geng He, recently discovered the prologue to Dark Night, the article Speaking From My Heart. She has authorised Epoch Times to publish it for the first time in English.

Missing Chinese lawyer honoured with human rights award 22/09/2010

Persecuted lawyers Gao Zhisheng, a missing Chinese lawyer, has been honoured with an international human rights award from the American Bar Association (ABA). With Mr Gao missing in China, his 17-year-old daughter Grace accepted the International Human Rights Lawyer Award on his behalf at an event held in San Francisco on Friday, August 6th.

Belgium Senate resolution about the arrest of Chinese human rights activist Gao Zhisheng 02/11/2006

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.

Summary of Gao Zhisheng's third open letter to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao 14/06/2006

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.