China has freed prominent human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng from prison on Thursday after detaining him for almost three years on charges of inciting subversion of state power.
“He’s out, he’s free, he’s at his father-in-law’s house,” Reuters quoted the Beijing-based lawyer’s brother Gao Zhiyi as saying.
Gao Zhisheng, who had taken up many politically sensitive cases and causes, had been held at a remote prison in the far-western region of Xinjiang since December 2011.
The lawyer attained international publicity for his campaigning for religious freedom, particularly for members of the banned religious group, Falun Gong, Reuters noted.
He had also defended underground Christians and villagers embroiled in property disputes with government officials.
Gao’s wife Geng He told a news conference outside the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, where she lives, that she spoke to her husband by phone and his voice sounded weak.
“My heart is still heavy because he’s still being persecuted and he’s not in very good health,” she was quoted as saying through an interpreter, adding that she would like her husband to join her and their children, ages 21 and 10, in the United States.
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