Sun, May 18, 2014 - Page 5 News List

China detains two lawyers in crackdown on activists

Reuters, BEIJING

Chinese police detained two prominent human rights lawyers this week, the latest arrests in a growing crackdown on dissent that has targeted rights activists and journalists.

Tang Jingling (唐荊陵), a prominent Guangzhou-based lawyer known for his work in cases involving land grabs, counterfeit vaccinations and petitioners protesting corruption, was arrested on Friday afternoon, his lawyer Liu Zhengqing (劉正清) said.

Tang was accused of “starting quarrels and provoking disputes,” Liu said on Friday evening.

Police had searched Tang’s home and taken away computers, cell phones and other electronics, according to a police document Liu showed reporters.

Liu said neither he or relatives had been able to meet with Tang.

Another rights lawyer, Liu Shihui (劉士輝), was taken into custody during the past week and is being held at a detention center in Shanghai, Liu Zhengqing said.

Liu Shihui was giving advice to a group of petitioners when police detained him, Liu Zhengqing said.

Tang and Liu are the latest of several lawyers and activists to be detained ahead of the anniversary of the June 4, 1989, crackdown on protesters at Tiananmen Square.

Several rights activists were detained earlier this month, including lawyer Pu Zhiqiang (浦志強), after they attended a private gathering commemorating one of the events leading up to the June 4 crackdown.

Pu, a leading free-speech lawyer, represented dissidents including artist Ai Weiwei (艾未未) and activists from the “New Citizens’ Movement,” a group that urged Chinese leaders to disclose their wealth.

Gao Yu (高玉), a journalist and activist known for her writing on the Tiananmen Square, was detained earlier this month and is accused by authorities of providing state secrets to foreign contacts.

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