Gao Zhisheng: persecuted Chinese lawyer smuggles out book of abuses

Human rights defender – who says he has endured repeated abduction, torture and life under virtual house arrest – releases damning memoir penned in secret.

By Tom Phillips for the Guardian

One of the most outspoken dissidents still living in mainland China has vowed to expose “the truth and crimes” of his country’s Communist rulers after publishing a chilling account of years of torture and persecution he claims to have suffered.

Gao Zhisheng – a 52-year-old human rights lawyer who activists say has endured years of horrific abuse at the hands of authorities – has been under virtual house arrest since his release from prison in 2014.

Despite living under almost constant surveillance Gao was able to pen a detailed memoir of his alleged treatment and to have it smuggled out of the country. The book, entitled Stand Up China 2017 – China’s Hope: What I Learned During Five Years as a Political Prisoner, was published this week in Taiwan.

“This book is my way of posing resistance,” Gao told the Associated Press in an interview conducted over a messaging app to avoid surveillance. “I wrote it secretly because I had to hide from the minders who watch me around the clock.”

Gao’s work chronicles years of torture, abuse and imprisonment the attorney claims he suffered at the hands of police and secret agents between 2004 and 2014.

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