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Congressman Appeals to New Secretary of State on Behalf of Imprisoned Chinese Human Rights Lawyer

Congressman Frank Wolf Appeals to New Secretary of State John Kerry on Behalf of Imprisoned Chinese Human Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng

ICC Note: Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng has spent years under house arrest and behind prison bars in China for having the audacity to represent Christians and other groups seeking justice in China. Last week Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia wrote an open letter to new Secretary of State John Kerry asking him to speak up publicly and denounce China’s imprisonment of Gao Zhisheng.  

2/19/2013 Washington, D.C. (CA) - Congressman Frank Wolf, a longtime champion of human rights in China, has appealed personally to new Secretary of State John Kerry on behalf of imprisoned Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, urging the U.S. government to publicly raise Gao's case by name.

In a Feb. 15 letter to Kerry, Wolf (R-Va.) explained that as part of the newly launched Defending Freedoms Project of the Congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, of which he is a co-chair, he had adopted Gao's case to advocate for and to generate attention and support for human rights.

“I urge you, in your new position, to publicly and privately raise the case of Gao Zhisheng - a man who has suffered greatly at the hands of his own government solely for proclaiming his Christian faith and defending the persecuted. I would also encourage you to meet with Gao's wife, Geng He, who now resides in the U.S., to hear first-hand the suffering that her husband and family have endured over several years," Wolf wrote, adding, "It is painfully clear that our current approach to China is not working. Quiet diplomacy, whereby grave human rights and religious freedom abuses are reportedly discussed in private meetings but rarely, if ever, raised publicly, has not yielded results and has in fact emboldened the oppressors."

ChinaAid applauds Congressman Wolf for his appeal and expresses its hope that the new Secretary of State John Kerry can adopt more pragmatic and effective measures in U.S. foreign policy that will promote human rights and the rule of law in China as well as bring about the early release of Gao Zhisheng.  Quiet diplomacy that lacks self-confidence and is not assertive can only bring harm to U.S.-China relations and damage the interests of the two peoples.

Below is the full text of Wolf’s letter:

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