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Inside China's Prisons

Swinging open China’s cell doors to hear who’s inside, and why...

Civilunrest is rising in China, particularly in rural areas where people areincreasingly disgruntled because of corrupt or inefficient officials.In a push upwards by the people, more and more protesters are claimingfreedom of speech and demanding a right to be heard. Seeing thispotential growing amongst labour rights activists in 2002, Dr YangJianli to China for two weeks to assist with strategy and negotiation,then spent the next five years in prison. He was one of thousands ofpolitical prisoners - prisoners of conscience jailed because of whatthey believe or say - interrogated, beaten, placed in solitaryconfinement and then left to serve out his sentence in China's gaols.Together with today’s guests, he shows us who’s imprisoned there andwhy.

• When political prisoners are convicted, so are theirpartners. Lee Tan, from the Australian Conservation Foundation, readsextracts from an essay by Ouyang Xiaorong called: 'The life of apolitical prisoner’s wife'.

• Like Tibet, Xinjiang is presentlyclaimed by China as a province in its far-east region. And also likeTibet, thousands of it people have been imprisoned while seeking moreautonomy. But unlike Tibet, their cause is rarely heard on theinternational stage. Alim Seytoff - the Director of the Uyghur HumanRights Project and General Secretary of the Uyghur American Association- explains why.

• While Dr Yang describes how prisoners'organizing to share their knowledge creates harmony inside Chineseprisons, Australia's first doctoral candidate studying in prison isfinding the opposite. In an essay read by Colm McNaughton, CraigMinogue - serving a 23 years jail sentence - describes the subtle andnot-so-subtle ways that the prison bureaucracy bucks when it finds outthat he's lent a helping hand.

Today's CD - Lumière - lights upthe program. Performed by one of this show’s favourite artists, BobBrozman, this amazing CD combines musical influences of a range ofAsian and the Pacific countries.

Listen directly online (flash 128kbps stream)

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you would like to save the program to - 128kbps mp3 55.7MB)

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