Human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who recently spoke out against his alleged torture in Chinese prison, has predicted that the Communist Party in China (CPC) will collapse in 2017.
"[I believe] in about two year's time...this sinister regime will historically collapse and die," 51-year-old Gao wrote in a letter to Bob Fu, founder and president of human rights organisation China Aid.
Gao said that the "evil regime" of the CPC will try to show the world that it is still powerful "in this last second before its death", and it seems to be working. President Xi Jinping was recently given a lavish welcome during his first state visit to the UK, and according to the International Department of the CPC, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on October 29 that China had become a "responsibly acting body" – a charge denied by many human rights activists and lawyers in the country.
This will encourage Chinese leaders to "hold onto their darkness until the party's collapse in 2017," Gao said. "In the time before the [CPC's] death, it will callously defend its own cruel methods."
A two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Gao is best known for his work defending Falun Gong adherents, Christians, and other persecuted social groups. He was first illegally detained by Chinese police in August 2006, and initially sentenced to three years in prison for 'subversion,' followed by a probation period of five years. During this time, he was tortured in detention several times, including being hit with electrified batons and having a toothpick inserted into his genitals, while the government shut down his law practice in Beijing.
Following another three-year stint in jail he was eventually released in August 2014, but has lived under near constant supervision since in the far western region of Xinjiang.
He recently spoke about his treatment in prison in an interview with AFP – his first in five years. He was forced to live in a seven metre square confinement cell, he said, and a Communist propaganda message was broadcast constantly for 68 weeks.
Writing to Fu, Gao said he wore a "thick black hood and my hands were handcuffed behind my back" during his time in captivity.
"Often, people would come without saying anything, just hit my face alternatively on the left and right," he recalled.
"Only a man nicknamed 'Zhong Ba Jun' who was open and honest, took off my hood every time and counted the times he hit me. The greatest number he ever inflicted at one time was just less than 60. At that time, my body could no longer feel pain. My awareness was also fuzzy and too much to bear, but I still remember hot mucus flowing out from my mouth."
Of the CPC's future demise, Gao added: "Shameless lying is their skin and bones. When there comes a day with no more lying, people will only be able to see the pile of ugly bones."