A mentally ill man has been freed after being chained up in a shed for 17 years. Xu Guofa was finally released this week after being shackled in his home in Fengshun county, southern China since 2000.

The 56-year-old’s family say they were were forced to keep him manacled to protect him from angry locals. After the local community demanded he be locked up, his brother Xu Guoiun, 61, took drastic measures.

Residents reportedly felt threatened by Mr Guofa because he was prone to violent rages. He had reportedly tried to set fire to various houses and repeatedly argued with neighbours.

His family could not afford healthcare to treat him and so they chained him up in a shed next to their home.

News of the family’s struggle reached one hospital who have now offered to treat Mr Guofa free of charge.

Rongjun Hospital stepped in to promise they will assess his needs and create a plan for him.

He was removed from his shackles this week to and has finally been admitted to the medical centre.

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