Rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who had the remarkable courage to defend Christians, Falun Gong adherents, and others oppressed by the Chinese government, has been released from prison. But his fate remains uncertain, and his condition is heartbreaking, according to a new report from BBC:
Mr Gao – who was released from prison last week – was emotionless, “basically unintelligible” and had lost teeth through malnutrition, [his lawyer Jared] Gensher said.
… He is alleged to have suffered physical and psychological abuse in jail.
As well as losing many teeth, Mr Gao’s daily ration of cabbage and a single slice of bread had caused him to lose 20 kg in weight, according to a statement by US-based advocacy group, Freedom Now.
The group said he had been confined to a cramped cell, with very little light, and had been largely deprived of human contact until his release.
Freedom Now said Mr Gao’s wife, Geng He, had spoken to her husband and was “completely devastated” by what the Chinese government had done to him.
“The only thing I feared more than him being killed was his suffering relentless and horrific torture and being kept alive,” she is quoted as saying.
… Mr Gensher said Mr Gao had been “in an incredibly bad way”.
“He is able to say a few words here and there and answering questions in a few words, describing what he went through,” he said.
“But he’s not capable of holding any conversation and there are many occasions where he’s just literally just muttering to himself.”