Attorney for China Forced Abortion Activist Detained After Olympic Comments

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 25, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Attorney for China Forced Abortion Activist Detained After Olympic Comments Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 25,

Beijing, China ( — An attorney who helped a prominent activist against forced abortions in China has been arrested following the dissemination of a letter he wrote to Olympic officials criticizing the Asian nation’s human rights situation. China is slated to host the 2008 Summer Olympics in its national capital.

Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng was taken from his home by police on Saturday, the human rights group CIPFG tells

The group says its contacts say Gao’s arrest is related to the 16-page letter he sent to the United States Congress last week expressing his deep concerns over the worsening deterioration of human rights in China.

In his letter, Gao explains that China’s promises to the IOC in 2001 were hollow and deceitful.

“Under the name of securing the success of the Olympic Games, all kinds of evils have been committed openly," Gao wrote.

"It is plain as day to all Chinese people that, by successfully hosting the Olympic Games, the communist regime is trying to [appear as a] legal government despite all the tyranny and all the horrible crimes against humanity the Party has committed during the past decade," he added.

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a pro-life Florida congresswoman; Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice-President of the European Parliament; and David Kilgour, former Secretary of State of Canada, held a press conference after receiving the letter.

Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen praised Gao as a voice for the “dislocated, the abandoned, and the oppressed.”

She said the Chinese government had passed up the opportunity to make the Olympics a time for greater openness and instead sees the Olympics as “a mandate for further control and repression of the Chinese people."

Gao was well aware of the danger such a letter might bring to him and his family, but he said, “Someone’s got to do it.”

He provided legal assistance to Chen Guangcheng, a blind attorney working on forced abortion and forced sterilization issues.

Chen was convicted on bogus property destruction charges and is serving a three year jail term. While in prison, fellow prisoners beat him severely at the urging of guards there.