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.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Edmund Burke



Gao Zhisheng’s new article: Speaking from my heart

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. READ MORE

04-02-2011 Witness accounts

In Focus

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