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  • » 10/28/2010, 00.00


    Gao Zhisheng’s daughter writes Obama for help to find her father

    Daughter of a Christian lawyer who disappeared six months ago in China, Grace Geng lives in the United States. Today she released an open letter addressed to the American president asking for his help to find out where her father is. In Chongqing, a woman disappears in the night after expressing solidarity to Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

    Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Grace Geng, the 17-year-old daughter of Chinese dissident lawyer Gao Zhisheng, has written an open letter addressed to the president of the United States. “President Obama,” she writes, “as the father of two girls yourself, please ask President Hu Jintao of China to tell this daughter where her father is.” Gao, who is Christian, disappeared once in February 2009, and again later.

    Grace Geng, who lives in the United States with her mother and brother,  wants President Obama to ask his Chinese counterpart when he meets him at the Seoul G20 meeting to tell her where her father is.

    “I know my father is just one man. But I also know that if the Chinese government is allowed to blatantly violate its own law with respect to my father, it is only a matter of time before the next father disappears."

    After disappearing in February 2009, the lawyer was seen in March of this year when he was apparently released. Friends and colleagues who met him said that police was still following him, and that he was not in good health.

    “He wasn't allowed to talk about what happened to him or where he was during that terrifying year. But I was able to tell my father that I love him over the phone," Geng said.

    A month after his release, Gao vanished again and since then has not been heard of. Some experts believe he is in a camp in northern China.

    In his professional career, Gao has represented underground Christians and members of the outlawed Falun Gong movement.

    In the meantime, Liu Xiaobo’s supporters are still feeling the wrath of the Chinese government after the co-author of Charter 08, a pro-democracy manifesto, won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

    Freelance designer Mou Yanxi who tweeted that she would show her support for Liu was taken by government officials in the middle of the night without explanations.

    She has reportedly returned home, but her mobile phone and computer have been confiscated.

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    See also

    03/05/2006 UNITED STATES - CHINA
    Washington: Christians demonstrating for Wang Wenyi arrested

    The three members of the Christian Defense Coalition were released in the evening. Support has also come from China for the doctor who interrupted Hu Jintao during his official US visit, and who now risks imprisonment.

    13/03/2009 CHINA
    Human rights award for Liu Xiaobo and for Charter 08
    The prize for Liu, under house arrest since December, is intended to recognize his struggle for human rights and freedom of speech. Meanwhile, the family of the activist lawyer Gao Zhisheng has fled to the United States, and is denouncing constant intimidation and torture.

    23/06/2006 UNITED STATES - CHINA
    USA: Charges "frozen" against woman who interrupted Hu Jintao at White House

    Dr Wang Wenyi has reached an agreement with the prosecution: charges against her have been blocked until next April, at which point they will dropped if her conduct is satisfactory. The woman had protested during the Chinese president's speech.

    10/11/2009 CHINA – UNITED STATES
    Washington tells Beijing to ensure “fair trials” for Uyghurs
    US State Department calls on China to respect its citizens’ human and legal rights after nine members of the Uighur minority are executed. The US might be shifting its stance ahead of the Hu-Obama meeting.

    10/11/2008 CHINA – UNITED STATES
    China asks Obama for “respect”
    In its first telephone conversion with the new US leader, Chinese President Hu Jintao praises mutual ties but already lays down “conditions” for their further development. In the meantime he is getting ready to take part in the G20 Summit scheduled for the US capital and expresses his country’s willingness to intervene in global financial markets.

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    Xinjiang, crosses, domes, statues destroyed: the new 'Sinicized' Cultural Revolution

    Bernardo Cervellera

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