Gao Zhisheng Released from Prison In China

As a leading human rights lawyer, Gao Zhisheng defended religious minorities who have complained of persecution (AP)
As a leading human rights lawyer, Gao Zhisheng defended religious minorities who have complained of persecution (AP)

Chinese human rights lawyer, Gao Zhisheng, is free from prison but is seriously ill from ‘torture‘; his wife has appealed for him to be allowed to join her in the United States

Bob Fu, who now lives in exile in Midland, Texas, where he runs the nonprofit organization ChinaAid, which supports human rights in his homeland, has announced the Gao Zhisheng, the Chinese human rights attorney and dissident known for defending activists and religious minorities and documenting human rights abuses in China, has been released from prison.

“Since his release, Gao has been staying with his wife’s sister in Xinjiang, China,” said Fu in a message monitored by the ASSIST News Service. “Unfortunately, Chinese security officials keep watch over Gao around the clock.

“Worse, Gao’s lawyer has publicly stated that, from the time of his reappearance in Shaya prison in December 2011 until his release, Gao was held in a small cell with minimal light at all times. Guards were strictly instructed not to speak with him and he was not allowed any reading materials, television, or other interaction.

“Once a day, he was fed a single slice of bread and piece of cabbage; as a result, he has lost roughly 50 pounds in prison and now weighs only about 130 pounds. Gao also lost many teeth from malnutrition.

“It is believed he suffered repeated physical torture.”

Fu went on to say, “Today, Gao can barely talk, and then only in very short sentences; most of the time he mutters and is unintelligible. Although Gao is now suffering from a broad range of physical and mental health problems he has not been allowed to see a doctor since his release!”

After speaking with her husband and hearing from her family about Gao’s immense suffering, his wife Geng He commented: “I am completely devastated by what the Chinese government has done to my husband. The only thing I feared more than him being killed was his suffering relentless and horrific torture and being kept alive.”

Gao’s lawyer, Jared Genser, stated: “I am heartbroken for Geng He and her family. We knew that if Gao wasn’t killed, he would have suffered immensely. But the situation is far worse than my limited imagination enabled me to contemplate. While China is a great power in the 21st century, the inhumanity and brutality that it has demonstrated by the torture of Gao Zhisheng shows its profound insecurity and fear of anyone in its population who stands up to its repression.”

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Dan Wooding

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