Wednesday, Mar 4, 2015Wednesday, Mar 4, 2015

China releases rights lawyer jailed for years, says relative

Published on Aug 7, 2014 6:08 PM
Gao Zhisheng, head of the Beijing-based Zhisheng Legal Office, speaking during an interview at his office in Beijing on Nov 2, 2005. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - A Chinese human rights lawyer whose secret detention and alleged torture by Communist authorities prompted an international outcry was released Thursday after a three-year jail sentence, a close relative said.

Gao Zhisheng, who defended some of China's most vulnerable people including Christians and coal miners, has been held largely incommunicado by authorities since 2009.

"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 told AFP by telephone, referring to the capital of the far-western region of Xinjiang where the lawyer had been serving his sentence.

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

If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here