08/14/2014, 00.00
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After Gao Zhisheng suffered "horrific torture" in prison, his wife wants him to travel to the US for treatment

The Christian lawyer and human rights advocate lost more than 22 kilos during his imprisonment and is unable to speak clearly after years of isolation. His wife appeals to China's President Xi Jinping for some "decency or humanity".

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Gao Zhisheng, a Christian human rights lawyer, suffered "horrific torture", malnutrition and abuse during his period in custody, his wife Geng He said.

For this reason, she wants the Chinese government to let her husband travel to the United States for treatment. She and the couple's two children are already there after fleeing in 2009.

Gao Zhisheng distinguished himself in defending persecuted Christians and Muslims as well as members of the Falun Gong, and cheated workers and peasants. As a result, he was first disbarred and then imprisoned. Last week he was released after three years behind bars.

His wife said that she learnt that Gao had lost 22.5kg after he was fed only a slice of bread and cabbage a day. In addition, he can no longer speak intelligibly after being deprived of any interaction with people and kept in a small cell with little light and no reading material or television.

"I am completely devastated by what the Chinese government has done to my husband. The only thing I feared more than him being killed was his suffering relentless and horrific torture and being kept alive," Ms Geng said in a statement.

"If President Xi Jinping has any sense of decency or humanity, after crushing my husband both physically and psychologically, the least he could do is allow me as a devoted wife to care for him," Geng said.

Despite his release, Gao is still under police surveillance at the home of his sister-in-law in Xinjiang. In view of the situation, his wife urged Chinese authorities to allow her husband to travel to the United States for medical treatment.

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