Gao Zhisheng Congressional Hearing Highlights Need for U.S. Support of Chinese Rights Activists
Washington, DC – Ahead of today’s Congressional-Executive Commission on China hearing on Chinese human rights defender Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights First submitted a statement to Commission members detailing the dangers many Chinese activists face. The Commission’s hearing will examine Gao’s case and his treatment in custody, a step Human Rights First praised as a much-needed recognition of the fearless work of Chinese activists and defenders and the risks they face in their work. The statement noted, “Their plight is indicative of so many other human rights activists who have risked their lives and livelihoods to promote human rights in China and things are only getting worse as the Chinese government introduces legislation to make disappearances legal and escalates its intimidation, attacks, arrests, and prosecutions of human rights activists.” Today’s hearing comes as Xi Jinping, the Chinese Vice President and likely next president of China, is in the United States today to meet with top officials. Human Rights First has urged the Administration to raise human rights concerns with the Vice President during his visit. “As Chinese human rights activists become more dynamic in their dissent, they need a show of support from the United States,” concluded Human Rights First’s statement. For more information about Human Rights First’s work on behalf of Chinese human rights defenders, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at [email protected] or 202-370-3323.