China's jailed rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng gets rare family visit, second in 13 months

A human rights group says imprisoned Chinese rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has been allowed a family visit for the first time in nearly 10 months at a prison in the far west Xinjiang region.

New York-based Human Rights in China, quoting Gao's wife, Geng He, said Tuesday that the Jan. 12 visit confirmed that Gao is still alive. The group said Gao appeared clear-minded and spoke normally during the visit by his younger brother and father-in-law in remote Shaya county.

It was the second time family members were allowed to visit Gao since the advocate for constitutional reform and religious rights was imprisoned in December 2011 for violating probation.

Gao was convicted in 2006 of inciting subversion of state power and sentenced to three years but released on probation.