2010年10月29日

高智晟女儿耿格在华尔街日报给奥巴马的信:请还我爸爸 Grace Geng : Please Return My Father

中国维权律师高智晟的17岁女儿耿格向美国总统奥巴马发出呼吁,要他介入高智晟的案子。
耿格现在与母亲和弟弟生活在美国。
她致信奥巴马,希望他在同中国国家主席胡锦涛见面时问询高智晟的下落。
奥巴马下月将同胡锦涛在首尔举行的20国峰会上见面。
高智晟今年3月短暂露面,显然他被警方释放。他当时联系过几个朋友和同事,这些人说高智晟的健康状况不佳,而且仍然被当局跟踪。
一个月后,高智晟再次失踪,直到今天一直下落不明。
耿格在信中对奥巴马说,"奥巴马总统,您是两个女儿的父亲,请您要求胡锦涛主席告诉我,我的父亲在哪里。"
耿格的信周四发在《华尔街日报》上。
她在信中写道,"我知道我父亲只是一个人,但是我还知道,如果听任中国政府在对待我父亲的问题上明目张胆地践踏自己的法律,那么迟早还会有其他人的父亲失踪。"
维权律师高智晟曾经为许多亟需帮助的人作司法辩护,包括法轮功成员、基督徒和煤矿工人。
2006年12月高智晟以"煽动颠覆国家政权罪"被判刑3年,缓刑5年,剥夺政治权利1年。高智晟在2009年2月失踪,他失踪的消息受到国际关注。
自从本月刘晓波获得诺贝尔和平奖后,中国人权活动人士在中国的处境受到更多关注。许多西方国家要求中国释放政治犯。
国际人权组织无国界记者最近要求中国政府立即提供有关高智晟下落的证据,并呼吁国际社会继续施压北京。
该组织表示不满北京警方最近拒绝受理高智晟大哥高智义就高智晟再次失踪的报案。


THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

OPINION ASIA | OCTOBER 27, 2010

Please Return My Father

Activist Chinese lawyer Gao Zhisheng has been missing since he was kidnapped by the government in April.


by Grace Geng


Six months ago last week, the Chinese government kidnapped my father, Gao Zhisheng. He was abducted for exercising his right to freedoms of speech and association, rights enshrined in the Chinese constitution. My father's exercise of these most fundamental of freedoms cost our family our livelihood, our country, and now, I fear, my father's life. As President Barack Obama heads to the Group of 20 meeting in Seoul next month and meets with Chinese President Hu Jintao, I beg him to raise my father's case.

My father is a lawyer, an increasingly dangerous profession in China. As all lawyers should, he defended his clients vigorously. He exposed the torment faced by oppressed religious minorities in China. He demanded rights guaranteed by law for disabled children, coal miners and other vulnerable groups. But in return, the government shut down my father's law firm. They took away his access to the courts, effectively taking away his livelihood. But even that wasn't enough.

The government placed our entire family under constant, humiliating surveillance. Police beat my mother, tearing her clothing and calling her a beast. Police beat me too; I was 12 years old. Security agents soon arrested my father and charged him with inciting subversion. They tortured him for weeks. My mother tried to protect me from knowing what happened. But I knew enough. I knew that when my father came home to serve his suspended sentence, his skin had turned black. I knew that my father couldn't get out of bed in the morning without my mother's help. And I knew that my father was scared.

My father wasn't scared for himself alone—he was scared for our family. Security agents moved into our apartment building in Beijing. Four policemen escorted me to school every day, calling me a slut in front of my friends and monitoring me as I sat in my classroom. They even followed me into the bathroom. Then, when I was 15, the government stopped allowing me to attend school. My mother knew that we had to escape. Last January, my mother smuggled my brother and me out of China. Fortunately, the three of us were granted asylum in the United States.

We never said good-bye to my father. It was too dangerous. In February 2009, shortly after we left, security agents took my father away again. The government refused to admit to detaining him. I thought he was dead. My mother and I couldn't bear to talk about it, but I know she thought he was dead too.

Over a year later, at the end of this March, my father suddenly reappeared and was allowed to return to our old home in Beijing under strict surveillance. 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.

On April 20, my father was again taken by security agents from my grandfather's home in western China. He was supposedly placed on a plane back to Beijing. But my family's apartment in Beijing is still empty. And no one has heard from my father since.

China experts tell my mother it is likely that the government released my father in March to quiet the increasing international pressure surrounding his disappearance. The experts believe that the government detained him again once it judged that the international community was no longer paying attention.

This is why I must ask my new country for help. The Chinese government must know that the international community is still paying attention to my father's disappearance. President Obama, as the father of two girls yourself, please ask President Hu to tell this daughter 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.

If the Chinese government has murdered my father, I beg President Obama to ask President Hu to let us bury him. I am 17 now. I'm old enough to understand that it might be better for my father to be dead than for him to undergo more unspeakable torture. But for my brother, Peter, who is only seven, not knowing whether our father is alive or dead is an unfathomable cruelty. I can hardly stand to hope that Peter and I will see our father again.


Ms. Geng is the 17-year-old daughter of Chinese human-rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng. A related editorial appears nearby.

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