China lawyer detained after supporting others
A mainland Chinese lawyer who spoke up on behalf of rights lawyers persecuted by authorities was himself taken away by police in handcuffs, his wife said Friday.
Police came just before the midnight Thursday and pried open locks to the door at Yu Wensheng’s Beijing apartment and stormed in, his wife Xu Yan said. The officers took Yu away in handcuffs and confiscated his computer, flash drives and other digital storage units, Xu said.
Beijing police did not respond to a faxed request seeking confirmation.
Xu said her husband was summoned on suspicion of causing troubles, although he was yet to be formally detained.
Beijing has detained about two dozen rights- defender lawyers since early July, accusing them of being part of a criminal gang that sabotaged China’s legal system, but critics say the lawyers are being punished for their insistence that the law be followed faithfully and the government held accountable.
Hundreds of lawyers across the mainland have been told not to speak up for those in police custody, but Yu ignored the warnings and spoke to foreign media, including The Associated Press.
In this Thursday, July 23 photo, mainland Chinese lawyer Yu Wensheng holds up his hands to show how death-row prisoners are handcuffed 24 hours a day during an interview at his office in Beijing.