Top China rights lawyer says was tortured

Gao Zhisheng speaks out after five years

(ANSA) - Rome, September 24 - In an exclusive interview with the Associated Press Thursday, his first interview in five years, leading Chinese rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng said he was tortured with an electric baton to his face and spent three years in solitary confinement during his latest period of detention since 2010. The Nobel Peace Prize nominee also vowed to never leave China despite the hardships and having to live apart from his family. For years, Gao's supporters feared he might perish inside a remote Chinese prison. He survived his prison term. But when he was released in August 2014 from prison to house arrest, the formerly outspoken lawyer could barely walk or speak a full, intelligible sentence, raising concerns that one of the most inspirational figures in China's rights movement had been permanently broken - physically and mentally. He now spoke out once again in the interview with AP.
   

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