10/28/2010, 00.00
CHINA – UNITED STATES

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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