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Chinese Christian lawyer Gao Zhisheng 'kidnapped by the state' after he claimed to have been tortured in prison

Fri 25 Sep 2015
By Antony Bushfield

The prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who has defended Christians, has been kidnapped by the authorities, it's claimed.

China Aid Association reports the lawyer disappeared on Thursday after an interview recorded following his release from prison in 2014, in which he said he was tortured, was published.

Gao Zhisheng is a prominent Christian human rights lawyer who is best known for his work defending Falun Gong, Christians, and other persecuted social groups.

As a result it's claimed the government shut down his law firm and revoked his lawyer's licence.

In August 2006, Gao was detained by the police and on 22 December 2006, he was sentenced to three years in prison with a probation period of five years, on the charge of "inciting to subvert the state power".

During his probation he was forcibly disappeared six times and claims he was severely tortured in detention.

In April 2010, Gao disappeared again while visiting his in-laws in Xinjiang. On 16 December 2011, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that Gao had violated the terms of his probation and had been returned to prison for three years.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide's Chief Operating Officer Andy Dipper said: "We condemn in the strongest possible terms the torture and ill-treatment of lawyer Gao Zhisheng by the Chinese authorities.

"The allegations of torture put forward by Gao in these interviews must be investigated immediately and impartially and the perpetrators, regardless of their rank or position, must be held to account in accordance with Chinese and international law.

"We call on the authorities to release him from any form of detention and to guarantee his rights and freedoms as a Chinese citizen."

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