This site collects letters and articles written by Gao Zhisheng, the renowned Chinese lawyer, who has been praised as “the conscience of Chinese lawyers” and “a great hero.”

China’s Ministry of Justice rated Gao Zhisheng one of China’s top ten lawyers in 2001. He has earned a reputation for courage in standing up against human rights abuses, and is one of only a handful of lawyers in China (at that time of year 2004) who will defend those persecuted for their religious or spiritual beliefs.

Video: Transcending Fear: The Story of Gao Zhisheng


In December 2004, the noted human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng wrote his first open letter to China’s top leaders, “An Open Letter to China’s National People’s Congress.”


That was followed by an open letter to Hu Jintao, the head of the Chinese Communist Party, and Wen Jiabao, China’s premier, “Stop Persecuting Believers in Freedom and Mend Your Ties with the Chinese People” written in October 2005.

Soon after the open letter published, On November 4, 2005, Gao’s law firm in Beijing was suspended.

On Nov 22,  2005, Gao Zhisheng wrote the second open letter to the Chinese leaders Hu and Wen with six questions for them.

Later On Dec. 12, 2005, he wrote the third open letter to Hu and Wen, “We Must Immediately Stop the Brutality That Suffocates Our Nation’s Conscience and Morality.”


Half year later On Aug. 15, 2006, Gao was kidnapped. Later, he was arrested with the excuse of “inciting subversion of state power.”

On Dec. 12, 2006, the court conducted a trial without allowing Gao’s attorney to present his case. In the same year, on Dec. 22, Gao was sentenced to a 3-year term on the pretense of “inciting subversion of state power,” with 5 years on probation.


In May 2007, the American Board of Trial Advocates granted Gao the Courageous Advocacy Award.

In September 2007, Gao wrote his Open Letter to the U.S. Congress.

In September 2007, Gao was kidnapped again and subjected to torture for 50 days.