Brother Says Missing China Rights Lawyer Held in Remote Prison

Posted January 1st, 2012 at 4:55 am (UTC-5)
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The brother of a prominent Chinese dissident lawyer who has been missing for 20 months says Gao Zhisheng is being held in a remote prison in far western China.

Gao Zhiyi said that he had finally received an official notice of a Beijing court's decision on Sunday. He said his brother is being held in the Shaya County Prison in Xinjiang.

Gao Zhisheng, who earlier said he had been kidnapped and tortured by Chinese authorities, had been missing for more than a year and a half, until state media reported last month that he had been sent back to prison for three years for violating his probation.

Gao was sentenced to three years in prison in 2006 for inciting subversion of state power. He was given five years of probation, effectively sparing him from prison, but has been detained without charges almost continuously since 2009.

Gao's wife, Geng He, left for the United States in early 2009 with their two children.

The lawyer, an outspoken critic of the government, has worked for the rights of some of China's most vulnerable people, including persecuted Christians, those arrested for reporting government corruption and land grabs, and miners working in unsafe conditions.