A U.S. senator is challenging his colleagues to pressure the Chinese government to release more information about a persecuted Christian.
Last week Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, spoke in the chamber about the case of Gao Zhisheng -- a Chinese Christian and distinguished human-rights lawyer who was reportedly kidnapped by communist Chinese authorities in early February, but has not been heard from since. Dorgan was presented with a petition signed by more than 50,000 citizens, demanding an account of Gao's whereabouts from the Chinese government.
Katherine Cason with the China Aid Association says Senator Dorgan's comments will have a big impact.
"This was a really unusual move by a senator to speak on the House [sic] floor," notes Cason. "And Gao Zhisheng's wife, Geng He -- who escaped with her two children in January out of China, and eventually were granted asylum in the U.S. -- ...was able to be present and to hear the senator speak. And at the same time, she wrote an open letter to the U.S. Congress asking for their help on her husband's behalf."
Gao was kidnapped in 2007 and tortured by communist authorities for more than 50 days after he went public with human rights abuses in China.