One of China’s most outspoken dissidents, Gao Zhisheng has repeatedly disappeared in mysterious circumstances. He is currently thought to be in detention in a Xinjiang prison for violating his three-year probation. In 2006, he was sentenced on subversion charges after he criticized the Chinese government and defended high-profile political and religious dissenters in court. Officials told Gao’s family the 45-year-old is undergoing a three-month “education” period. During one of his brief reappearances Gao told the Associated Press that Chinese security agents threatened, tortured and beat him regularly.
—by Kate Springer
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