He Geng: The Dissident’s Wife

He Gang, wife of activist and lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who has been missing for almost a year, writes about his case in the New York Times:

We have good cause to fear that he is suffering. My husband has been tortured many times. In 2007, officials subjected him to electric shocks, held lighted cigarettes up to his eyes and pierced his genitals with toothpicks. In 2009, the police beat him with handguns for two days. He has been tied up and forced to sit motionless for hours, threatened with death and told that our children were having nervous breakdowns.

Though his treatment has been especially harsh, my husband is only one of many political prisoners in China. Among them are Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who is serving an 11-year sentence for subversion, and his wife, Liu Xia, who is under house arrest. A human rights group reports that more than a hundred bloggers and rights advocates have been interrogated or detained in connection to the “Jasmine Revolution.” And especially ominous have been the disappearances of other prominent human rights lawyers, like Jiang Tianyong, Teng Biao and Tang Jitian.

In President Obama’s speech to the United Nations last year, he said that “freedom, justice and peace for the world must begin with freedom, justice and peace in the lives of individual human beings.” The Chinese government must not be allowed to claim that China is a nation operating under the rule of law while persecuting those who try to ensure that it respects the law. And when the government silences dissent, the international community must speak up.

Read more about Gao Zhisheng via CDT.

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