A disabled Chinese lawyer says her illness was left untreated for the two-and-a-half years she was kept in prison on charges of "causing a disturbance".

Ni Yulan, who was released from prison on Saturday, said her physical condition had worsened and she would sue the police for her lack of treatment.

"It is useless to fear, since we're already deprived of our rights," Ni told the Reuters news agency. "If we don't fight for rights, we will just have to wait for our death."

The 54-year-old champions those evicted from their homes by the state, and has used a wheelchair since police beat her in 2002 for filming the forced demolition of a client's home.

Ni was detained during a wave of arrests aimed at rights activists in 2011 and later sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for "causing a disturbance" and fraud.

Activists say the charges were trumped up in an effort to silence her. In July 2012, a Chinese court threw out the fraud charge, reducing her prison time by two months.

Ni's husband, Dong Jiqin, was jailed for two years in April 2012 also for causing a disturbance.

The family also plans to sue the Beijing public security bureau in the Xicheng district for holding them in an informal detention site in 2010 after their home was demolished in 2008.

"I want them to return my assets. They've torn down my home without giving any compensation, leaving us homeless," said Ni.

Ni's daughter, Dong Xuan, said about 10 supporters of Ni who greeted her mother outside the prison with a red banner were taken away by police.

Source: Agencies