Guo Qizhen's Essay Extolling Civil Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng
In 2007, a PRC appeals court upheld a lower court's judgment finding Guo Qizhen (郭起真) guilty of inciting subversion of state power on the grounds that he "distributed a large number of articles on the 'Democracy Forum' website, attacked and cursed the State government, and disseminated speech that damaged the State regime, the socialist system, and the judicial system." Below is a translation of one of the articles cited by court: "Announcement Regarding Participating in Gao Zhisheng's Hunger Strike." A full translation of the court's judgment can be found on p. 365 of "State Prosecutions of Speech in the People's Republic of China: Cases Illustrating the Application of National Security and Public Order Laws to Political and Religious Expression," available for free download at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4168412. More information about civil rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng can be found here:
- Almost Every Major Chinese Internet Company Bans Searches for Gao Zhisheng: http://blog.feichangdao.com/2013/05/almost-every-major-chinese-internet.html
- Global Times: Gao Zhisheng's "Name Is Blocked On the Web." Meanwhile, Baidu Stops Showing Censorship Notice for Searches for "Gao Zhisheng": http://blog.feichangdao.com/2014/08/global-times-gao-zhishengs-name-is.html
Announcement Regarding Participating in Gao Zhisheng's Hunger Strike
(March 16, 2006)
Within a 12 hour period yesterday, I received calls from three foreign journalists, specifically Radio Free Asia, The Epoch Times, and Voice of Hope. The following are the answers I gave to the questions of common concern of the three journalists. And I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to them for the interview!
1. What do you think of Gao Zhisheng as a person?
Perhaps it is because I have suffered grievances for over the past twelve years, enduring too many ups and down in a fickle world where I am limited by my own narrow interests, but in my heart I long for there to be more good people like lawyer Gao. Good people who will pay attention to and help more poor people in need. Therefore, when I think about the fact that lawyer Gao spends one-third of his time and energy every year to provide legal aid for people who have no financial means, I am very moved, even to the point of tears.
In particular, over the last ten days I have read almost all the articles about Lawyer Gao, and I have come to understand more about why Lawyer Gao does not stand by doing nothing and remaining silent in order to avoid the "third rail" of Falun Gong that everyone fears so much. Instead, he bravely stepped forward and faced the flames, and endured all kinds of pressure and terror from the government, and he has been able to fight with special persistence to this day without turning back.
Lawyer Gao grew up in an impoverished family, and even the countryside where he lives now is extremely poor. As young man with outstanding academic achievements and ambition he had to drop out of middle school due to poverty. One can imagine how irresistible the temptation of money and career would be for such a poor person.
Frankly speaking, if I had experienced as rough a life as Lawyer Gao, a lawyer who only had a middle school education, obtained his lawyer qualification through self-study, and worked hard in a capital full of talent without any social background, and miraculously reached the peak of my own law firm, then I would certainly have stayed in line and tacitly abided by the "iron law" that can only be understood and not spoken, and enjoy the fruits of white-collar aristocratic life. I would take my comfort in being an enormous hog and a zombie. I might even find 10,000 reasons for my depravity and jadedness.
But there is more than one thought that separates angels from devils! We can be assured that human history will forever be inscribed with the holy love that Lawyer Gao brought to the world. In the presence of such an angel, if I were to continue to remain silent I would be a waste of a human being.
2. Why do you want to participate in Gao Zhisheng's hunger strike to protest government persecution?
First of all, what Lawyer Gao has done in recent months is in full compliance with the legal rights conferred on every citizen by the law. In spite of this, the government has imposed nearly three months of residential surveillance, internal and external investigation, and spreading rumors against Lawyer Gao. This is not only a violation of the legitimate rights and interests of a citizen and a very serious and particularly egregious violation of the criminal law, it is also a challenge to a cause recognized by the world as a just one.
Therefore, any Chinese person with a conscience, every kind person, should firmly support lawyer Gao Zhisheng's just actions. Lawyer Gao did his best to help the poor and those who needed attention when he was at the height of his success, and he deserves more attention when he is facing great losses. To pay attention to Lawyer Gao means to pay attention to the future of the Chinese nation; to support Lawyer Gao means to support the just actions of the early rejuvenation of the nation.
Other reasons for participating in Gao Zhisheng's hunger strike are: I reported Ma Guichen, the leader of that unit [n.b. Ma was the Director and Secretary of Housing Management Office in Cangzhou, Hebei), for violating the law and discipline, and as a result I was arrested and jailed many times and dismissed from public office. In addition, out of concern for two innocent people who were sentenced to death on suspicion of murder (who were acquitted in 1999), I complained to the relevant authorities, and was twice charged with subversion of state power and sent to a black prison, and suffered 12 years of imprisonment and brutal persecution. Furthermore, in Cangzhou, Cui Hongtao (tel. 0317-2224398, his mother Wang Jinru), an innocent citizen in Renqiu City, Cangzhou, has been detained in prison for more than ten years. He was sentenced to death four times, but to this day the case remains open due to insufficient evidence.
3. When did you join the hunger strike?
In view of the deteriorating human rights situation in China, I decided to go on a hunger strike from 12:00 on the 8th to 12:00 on the 9th in order to respond to and participate in lawyer Gao Zhisheng's hunger strike.
And for the nearby hunger strikers who supported Lawyer Gao, they provided their current residence as a venue for activities. Contact Telephone: 0317-3077580.
The hunger strike will continue until the government stops all actions infringing upon Lawyer Gao, allows Lawyer Gao's office to resume normal operations, and the my unjust cases are resolved openly and justly.
4. What is your appeal to the global media and the world?
I hereby strongly appeal to the just forces all over the world to pay attention to China, and make unremitting efforts to push our country, which has a population of more than one billion people, to rid itself of barbaric rule as soon as possible, to make a peaceful transition to a democratic system as soon as possible, and to integrate into the mainstream global civilized society as soon as possible.
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