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We begin today's broadcast with the latest on the plight of rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng. On Tuesday, Gao's wife said her husband is being denied visitors while being held in a remote prison in China's Xinjiang region. Relatives were told Gao would only be allowed visitors after he completes a so-called three-month "education" program.
China's most outspoken human rights lawyer, Gao Zhisheng, has been missing for nearly 20 months. It is now believed he is detained in a remote prison in Shaya County in the western Xinjiang region. Gao has been denied access to visitors.
On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that Gao's relatives were told Gao is receiving a three-month "education period," commonly known as a Chinese Communist Party brainwashing program.
Authorities told Gao's relatives who went to visit him that he will only be allowed visitors after completing the three-month program—and that's pending his on "good behavior."
The Associated Press cited Gao's wife Geng He saying, "I don't know what they're up to, but this seems very wrong... we still have no proof that Gao is actually in that jail."
Gao is a central figure in China's rights movement. He has supported constitutional reform, defended property rights, and political dissidents.
Gao has also defended practitioners of Falun Gong—a spiritual meditation group that has been persecuted by the Chinese regime since 1999.
In 2006, Gao was sentenced to three years in prison and five years of probation for inciting state subversion. Gao was repeatedly beaten and tortured during his detention, according to Western media reports. His case has attracted the attention of the United States and European governments.