Chinese rights lawyer freed from detention

August 08, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

BEIJING:  A Chinese human rights lawyer whose secret detention and alleged torture by Communist authorities prompted an international outcry was released yesterday after a three-year jail sentence.

Gao Zhisheng, who defended some of China’s most vulnerable people including Christians and coal miners, has been held largely incommunicado by authorities.

“He is out (of jail), but he has not returned home -- he’s at his father-in-law’s house in Urumqi,” Gao’s relative said by telephone.

The relative added that Gao’s health was “normal, good,” but asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

It was not clear whether Gao, 50, will still be subject to some form of house arrest. His wife Geng He, who fled to the United States, said she was “worried” he would face further restrictions following his release.

Gao was convicted of “subversion of state power” in 2006, and given a suspended sentence of three years in prison. He was immediately placed under house arrest and put on probation for five years.