se rights in court.
   Gao said he planned to fight his firm's suspension at a formal hearing next week.
   In an Oct. 18 letter addressed to Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao that he posted on the Internet and distributed widely by e-mail, Gao described several cases he had investigated involving Falun Gong practitioners who have been detained, sent to labor camps and tortured. In one case, he said, a man was hanged from overhead pipes until his legs rotted.
   In another case, he said, police tracked down and arrested a practitioner, a college sophomore, after he posted a note on the Internet announcing his resignation from the Communist Youth League.
   Under the direction of Hu's predecessor, Jiang Zemin, the Chinese government in July 1999 banned Falun Gong as an "evil cult" and has all but crushed it in an often violent campaign involving the arrests of thousands of people. As practitioners have been released from labor camps in recent years, Gao said, the government has renewed its brutal campaign.
   "The persecution of Falun Gong compatriots by some local officials has already reached the point where they are doing whatever they please," Gao wrote in the open letter. "We cannot accept these brazenly inhumane, savage atrocities to occur in the society of mankind in the 21st century."
   "This evil catastrophe did not begin with you, but the catastrophe has continued while you two have led the government," he told Hu and Wen.
   Gao also urged the government to accept that a revival of religious faith in China was inevitable. In addition to working on behalf of Falun Gong members, Gao is one of several lawyers who have volunteered to defend Cai Zhuohua, the pastor of a house church in Beijing who has been jailed on charges of "illegal business practices" for printing and distributing hundreds of thousands of Bibles. The Bush administration has expressed concern about Cai, who was arrested with several other Christian figures in September 2004.
   Gao has been under pressure from the authorities for months. Government officials recently demanded that he withdraw from two politically sensitive cases: a citizen effort to impeach the chief of Taishi village in southern China's Guangdong province and a landmark lawsuit brought by thousands of private investors accusing officials in northern Shaanxi province of seizing oil wells from them worth as much as 1 billion.

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