A human rights lawyer was detained in China on suspicion of “inciting subversion against the state”, according to an official notice obtained by his wife, weeks after defending a hospitalized teacher.
Xie Yang, who has defended Christian and pro-democracy activists, has not been contacted since his arrest more than a week ago in the city of Changsha in Hunan province.
Beijing has intensified its crackdown on civil society since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, with hundreds of activists and lawyers detained.
The police notice, dated Monday and seen by AFP, indicates that 49-year-old Xie was arrested on suspicion of inciting subversion against state power and “causing disputes and stirring up trouble”, an accusation frequently used against dissidents and activists.
“I am very upset that he has been arrested on trumped-up charges.”, declared his wife Chen Guiqiu, from the United States, where they live with their two children. He stated that his house was ransacked.
“Everything that could be opened was opened or forced, even his pillows were broken”, he assured, after pointing out that two computers and a safe deposit box disappeared.
His arrest came weeks after he tried to visit teacher Li Tiantian, who friends say was committed to a psychiatric hospital after expressing sympathy for views that question the official Chinese narrative of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre. sensitive topic in China.
Li would have been arrested after supporting a Shanghai professor who questions the official figure of 300,000 dead in that massacre.
Xie defended the 27-year-old pregnant teacher, who authorities say agreed to be hospitalized.
The lawyer released a video in December in which he appears in front of a police station asking for Li’s release.
The Changsha Public Security Bureau declined to comment on the case, while the detention center and the local propaganda department did not respond to calls.
Another human rights lawyer, Yang Maodong, was arrested last week on suspicion of “inciting subversion against state power”according to a police notice. Yang has been detained several times for his activism.