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Chinese Christian expatriates have asked the United Nations to investigate the disappearance of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.

The U.S.-based China Aid Association, formally requested a special U.N. investigation into Gao’s whereabouts as well as the torture he underwent in previous police detention.

The request came on the five-year anniversary of his first arrest by Chinese police.

The request was submitted in Geneva, Switzerland by China Aid’s legal counsel, filed with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.

Gao was first taken by police on Aug. 15, 2006. from his sister’s home and held incommunicado until the Chinese government announced on Sept. 21, 2006 that he was being charged with inciting subversion.

In March 2010, the non-governmental organization Freedom Now partnered with human rights specialists Jerome A. Cohen, Irwin Cotler, Albert Ho, David Kilgour, David Matas, and Beth Schwanke and Keane Shum in filing a petition before the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention that resulted in a U.N. finding of serious wrongdoing by the Chinese government, which had failed to even reply to the U.N. inquiry.

China basically told the U.N. and the rest of the world to “mind its own business” because Gao’s case was a matter of China’s internal affairs.

China Aid President Bob Fu and legal counsel David E. Taylor said they expect China will respond similarly to this request for a special U.N. investigation.

“Nonetheless, we believe it is important for the international community to see again how the Chinese Communist Party responds with arrogance and recalcitrance to the U.N., and to show the world, especially Gao’s family and the Chinese government, that Gao has not been forgotten for even one second and never will be,” Taylor said.

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