2000 Sign Petition for Missing Chinese Rights Lawyer Gao Zhi

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Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has been missing for more than six months. It's the second time he's disappeared since February 2009. Many believe he's been detained by Chinese authorities. Now more than 2,000 people in China have signed a petition urging the Chinese regime to release information about where Gao is.

Support for missing Chinese rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng continues to grow around China. Over 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Chinese regime to give information on Gao's whereabouts.

Last month, the China Civic Rights Defenders Alliance started the online petition. It's titled "Together Searching for Missing Hero Gao Zhisheng" and urges the public to help look for him.

[Mr. Gao, Petition Signatory]:
"Whether he's sentenced, or was given a suspended sentence, [the regime] should tell people where he is. Which jail is he in? If he's at home, he should have certain freedoms. The government should act according to the law."

Gao Zhisheng is known for defending some of China's most vulnerable people. In 2005 he began calling on the Chinese regime to end its persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual group. The Chinese regime then convicted Gao of "subversion" in 2006 with a three-year suspended sentence. Since then authorities have placed him under constant surveillance and periodic detention.

Gao's wife and two children fled China last year. Shortly after, Gao disappeared when security agents took him from his home. He resurfaced briefly in March this year, as international pressure mounted on the Chinese regime to release him. In April, Gao went missing again.

One person who signed the petition says Gao's courage to speak out against the Chinese regime is an inspiration for other oppressed individuals.