The word "missing" is a euphemism in China, where dissident Gao Zhisheng likely has now spent eight months in a frightening system of illegal government detention for his work speaking out for human rights and the rule of law. In a horrifying interview given to the Associated Press during a brief period of freedom last year and published this week, Mr. Gao gives accounts of previous torture sessions carried out by secret police. "The degree of cruelty," he said, "there's no way to recount it."
Sometime in 2009, three agents stripped Mr. Gao and began beating him with their holstered guns, plus other acts he would not describe. It lasted around the clock for two days. "When all three officers tired," the AP writes, "they bound his arms and legs with plastic bags and threw him to the floor until they caught their breath to resume the abuse."..
The AP agreed not to publish the account unless Mr. Gao disappeared again or made safe haven. He disappeared again after the interview, which took place eight months ago.
Mr. Gao's tale began in 2006, when the lawyer, whose work focused on property rights and the repression of religious minorities such as the Falun Gong, was barred from the practice of law and accused of "inciting subversion." He has since been repeatedly imprisoned and persecuted, with only brief respites when his appearance has been politically advantageous for Beijing...