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Posts tagged ‘human rights’

Gao Zhisheng’s family arrives safely in New York…

The family of a top Civil Rights Lawyer, Gao Zhisheng, who was kidnapped by the Chinese government in February, has arrived in New York after more than two months of travel.  His wife, Geng He and their two children fled China after realizing that their lives were being closely monitored by the government, according to Epoch Times.

In a complicated and dangerous plan that involved escape on foot, by train and air travel, the three Ihave defected from China to seek safety from the Chinese Communist Party.

Their escape was aided by human traffickers and several groups, including Friends of Gao Zhisheng, the Global Association for the Rescue of Gao Zhisheng, and the U.N. Refugee Agency.

I am glad to hear that his family has made it out of China safely, and I wish them all the best as they try to sort out what has happened to them.  Sadly, I can’t say the same for Gao.

Gao Zhisheng’s whereabouts are presently unknown. Gao was abducted from his home in Shanxi by Chinese police on February 4, and has not been seen since. Gao had been detained previously after having written three open letters to China’s top leaders, as well as the U.S. Congress urging Chinese leaders to cease their persecution of Christians and Falun Gong practitioners. He was a top contender for the Nobel Peace Prize last year and was formerly recognized as a top human rights lawyer in China.

This isn’t the first time that Gao has been detained by the Chinese government (Trigger warning:  First hand descriptions of brutal torture), and horrifically this isn’t the first time, by far, that the Chinese government has detained someone for their own purposes.

I hope that Zhisheng is still alive, and that he is soon reunited w/ his family.  I don’t see him leaving China, b/c I believe he feels his work is too important.  If he is still alive I hope that he finds a way to continue his work safely.

I hope that in our international relations, the US can find it in their busy schedules to address Civil Rights atrocities like this.

Weird Science

(Photo from National Geographic)

 

Saturday we took the Kid to see The Bodies Exhibition in Honolulu.  We had a good time.  I wrote about the trip here, but I want to voice my thoughts about it, and things that it made me think about as well.  This seemed as good a space as any.

I spent a good deal of time talking myself into wanting to see it first hand.  It is here in Honolulu (and big things don’t come here often), so it felt like it would have been a missed opportunity to not go at all.

The Exhibit itself disturbs me on a few levels.  One of those are the claims verifying where the bodies originated.  All official statements claim that these bodies were donated to science by the Chinese government since they had no next of kin to claim them.  This sits ill w/ me on two levels, one being that I dislike the idea of a body being used for science where the former occupant did not willingly submit himself or herself, and the second being that the Chinese government is not always forthcoming.  There is no way to show for certain that these bodies are not those of persons executed in Chinese prisons.  Other than the facial structures of the bodies and the statures making it obvious that they are indeed of Asian descent, even the disclaimer on the Exhibit’s website says it can not independently confirm that the specimen are as claimed.  The concept of the Exhibit itself doesn’t trouble me specifically, but rather the idea that it was not voluntary.  China has a bit of history w/ human rights violations, enough to make this sit ill w/ me.  How are we to know that the families of these bodies were simply not informed of these deaths to be able to claim them? (more…)

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