Beijing jails two lawyers in growing activist crackdown

May 18, 2014 - 9:07:26 am

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, 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 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.

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

Another rights lawyer, Liu Shihui, was taken into custody during the past week and is being held at a detention centre in Shanghai, said Liu Zhengqing, who is familiar with the case.

Liu 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.