Prominent Chinese Lawyer Goes Public with Details of Torture

NEW YORK (FDI)—China’s renowned human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has published a third open letter to Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao condemning the brutal persecution of Falun Gong. The letter (full text) discloses details of cases he personally investigated over the last several weeks amidst mounting pressure from the CCP to stop his work.

Gao’s three letters are a rarity in China, where open criticism of senior leaders, especially concerning treatment of Falun Gong, is considered a one-way ticket to a forced labor camp or worse. Gao’s public letters, however, landed him on the cover of the New York Times on December 13th, 2005, (news) making it difficult to haul Gao off in the middle of the night. Still, Gao’s publicizing the CCP’s brutality against Falun Gong brought a swift rebuke from Beijing officials who revoked his license, closed his law firm, and are now monitoring his family.

“The Chinese Communist regime participates in human rights dialogues with other countries, sends representatives to the U.N.’s annual human rights meetings, and extends gestures of ‘good will’ to other nations,” says Falun Dafa Information Center spokeswoman Ms. Gail Rachlin. “But that’s just a game to give a cloak of normalcy to their brutal reign over the Chinese people. The minute anyone gets real with the CCP about their rampant use of violence, they shut them down completely. Gao got real with them.”

Included in the cases Gao documents is a mother and son who were tortured to death, just days apart, in the same detention center: “Every time they were tortured, the mother and son could hear each other’s screams,” Gao wrote.

Gao also detailed sexual torture that he found to be pervasive. It is used on men and women alike in the CCP’s campaign to force Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their practice and adopt Communist Party ideology. “[Torturers] tied many knots on a thick rope and pulled it back and forth in a sawing motion across [Ms. Wang’s] vagina,” Gao wrote about one case of a tortured female Falun Gong practitioner. “Her entire lower body swelled up. The head police then ordered inmates to jab her swollen vagina with the thorny end of a broken mop stick. This torture caused Ms. Wang’s vagina to bleed profusely.”

Another victim told Gao “Because there was not any good skin remaining on my body [after the torture], the policemen started to shock my private parts with electric batons and pierced it. Afterwards they used an iron stick to smash my private parts. I passed out…After one night’s torture, my face was swollen to several times the original size and my whole body was drenched in blood…I was carried to the Changchun City police department. There were many small cells, each with a tiger bench [torture devise] inside. There were female [Falun Gong] practitioners on every tiger bench. Most of them had fainted, with their lower bodies naked or with only a cloth covering the body.”

Gao spent the majority of his 10-year career assisting underground Christians, farmers, and other disadvantaged members of Chinese society to secure human rights promised in China’s constitution but rarely fulfilled by the communist regime.

After gathering several initial reports about the torture and killing of Falun Gong practitioners, Gao turned his attention to the group, actively investigating cases throughout northeastern China.