11/24/2016, 14.29
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Missing for days, Christian lawyer Jiang Tianyong is feared held by authorities

His whereabouts are unknown since Monday after he visited families of detained human rights lawyers. Jailed and tortured in the past, he said last June that he feared he might be arrested. The Ministry of Public Security remains silent.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – The wife of one of China’s best known human rights advocates said that her husband has gone missing.

Jin Bianling said that her husband, lawyer Jiang Tianyong, went to visit the families of some detained human rights lawyers. He was supposed to return to Beijing on Monday (21 November), but has not been heard since. His mobile phone is switched off. His friends fear that he might have been detained by police.

According to the South China Morning Post, Jiang had confided that he feared arrest and rarely spent more than a night in the same place.

Jiang, a Protestant, is known for defending important Chinese dissidents, like Christian lawyer Gao Zhisheng and the blind dissident Chen Guangcheng, as well as members of Falun Gong and AIDS patients.

In the past, he was imprisoned for months and tortured, which he reported.

Jiang was disbarred in 2009, but has continued his activism, recently helping to publicise the plight of nearly two dozen human rights lawyers arrested as part of a sweeping 2015 government crackdown.

In July 2015, police arrested some 300 lawyers and activists guilty of defending people against the abuses of companies and local authorities.

To date, at least 16 of these lawyers remain in prison on charges of "inciting subversion of state power".

The Ministry of Public Security in Beijing did not immediately respond to journalists’ request for a comment about Jiang’s whereabouts.

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