SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The Bay Area woman, whose dissident husband was released from a Chinese prison on Thursday, is now calling for his return to the United States.
Gao Zhisheng is one of China’s best-known human rights lawyer and also a government critic. He was released from Shaya prison in China on Thursday, after being convicted in 2006 of subversion. He was sentenced to three years before being released on probation, but was taken away by security agents again in 2009. In 2011, he was sent back to prison because according to state media, he violated the terms of his probation.
At a news conference in San Francisco on Thursday, his wife Geng He told reporters through an interpreter she briefly spoke to Gao, and he told her his teeth are practically all gone.
“From the condition of his teeth, we can see that in the past three years, he was tortured severely in jail,” the interpreter said.
Geng said her husband was repeatedly shocked with electric prods and left in solitary confinement for months.
She had very little contact while her husband was imprisoned and said Chinese authorities persecuted Gao for his role in representing individuals and groups critical of the government.
“She wants him to have true freedom. There are a lot of policemen around him,” her interpreter said. “She wants him to have the freedom to go see a doctor, go see a dentist, and she wants to be reunited with him.”
Lawyers will ask the U.S. State Department to help Gao seek political asylum in America and live with Geng in the Bay Area.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf welcomed Gao’s release. “We also urge Chinese authorities to allow him to leave China to be reunited with his family in the United States if he so chooses,” she told reporters.
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