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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Gao Zhisheng


Detained Since: August 13, 2017.

Charges: No official charges.

Sentence:  No official sentence. 

Biography: Gao Zhisheng is one of the most respected human rights lawyers in China.  He has defended activists and religious minorities and documented human rights abuses in China. This award-winning lawyer has handled a number of high-profile human rights cases, including those of Christians in Xinjiang and Falun Gong practitioners. In August 2006, after numerous death threats and continued harassment, Gao disappeared.  In 2006, Gao was convicted of “subversion,” and was sentenced to three years in prison. He was incarcerated in December 2011 for allegedly violating the conditions of his suspended three-year sentence. Gao was released from prison on August 7, 2014, was kept under house arrest until August 2017, and is now reportedly being held in custody with no contact with the outside world.

Past Advocate: Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA, Ret.)

Advocacy Partner: U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom