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Christian Activist's Tortured Described

AP releases transcripts of an April interview with missing lawyer Gao Zhisheng.

Transcripts of an interview with Gao Zhisheng, the Chinese Christian lawyer who has been missing since April 2010, have recently been released by the Associated Press. The summary story was reported in the Washington Post, among other outlets, earlier this week. The story begins:

The police stripped Gao Zhisheng bare and pummeled him with handguns in holsters. For two days and nights, they took turns beating him and did things he refused to describe. When all three officers tired, they bound his arms and legs with plastic bags and threw him to the floor until they caught their breath to resume the abuse.
"That degree of cruelty, there's no way to recount it," the civil rights lawyer said, his normally commanding voice quavering. "For 48 hours my life hung by a thread."

Gao has been described by the New York Times as "one of China's most high-profile human rights lawyers." He has been disbarred, arrested and tortured by the Chinese secret police for speaking out about human rights abuses in China.

He has defended fellow activists, and religious minorities like Falun Gong and Chinese underground Christians. In his 2006 memoir A China More Just, he described his work and alluded to his Christian faith. He first disappeared in February 2009, resurfaced in March 2010, and has been missing again since April 21, 2010. The AP interview was conducted just before his last disappearance. According the AP story, Gao asked that "his account not be made public unless he went missing again or made it to 'someplace safe' like the United States or Europe."

Christianity Today originally told of his plight here in an extended story by Elissa Cooper.

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