Obama Urged to Secure Release of Chinese Lawyer Gao Zhisheng

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Hu Jintao's state visit to the United States renewed calls for President Obama to openly raise high-profile human rights cases with the leader of the Chinese regime. Among them, the wife of the Chinese rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng brought up the case of her missing husband.

Renowned Chinese rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has been missing for more than eight months. On Tuesday, Gao's wife Geng He called for her husband's release, before Chinese regime leader Hu Jintao arrived in Washington D.C. for his state visit.

[Geng He, Wife of Lawyer Gao Zhisheng]:
"President Obama, if you still remember the hardship of your youth growing up without a father, please use your influence and power to directly raise the issue of my husband with Hu Jintao. Ask Hu Jintao to hand over my husband, so that he may reunite with us."

When Gao was practicing law, he defended disadvantaged minorities. He eventually took on cases of mistreated Falun Gong practitioners, and openly called on the Chinese regime to end its persecution of the spiritual group.

In 2006, Gao received a 3-year suspended sentence for so called "subversion." Since then, the Chinese regime has subjected him to constant harassment, forced disappearances and torture.

[Geng He, Wife of Lawyer Gao Zhisheng]:
"I think after all this torment, my husband has not collapsed. I feel his heart is full of God."

Gao's wife and two children have been living in the United States since they fled China in 2009.

On January 10, the Associated Press released an exclusive interview with Gao that was recorded in April last year. That's when he briefly resurfaced after disappearing in early 2009. He recounted the gruesome torture he suffered at the hands of plain-clothes police. The AP reported Gao did not want the interview published unless he had escaped from China, or had gone missing again.

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