Police have arrested one of China’s most prominent rights activists who has called for officials to disclose their wealth, his lawyer said on Friday, raising the stakes in the government’s crackdown on anti-graft campaigners.
The arrest of Xu Zhiyong, who has pushed for greater civil rights, could trigger an international outcry over Beijing’s tightening grip of a fledgling movement. It also exposes shortcomings in the government’s drive against corruption.
Western governments have sparred repeatedly with Beijing over human rights and the United States raised Xu’s case this month during its annual rights dialogue with China.
Xu, the founder of the “New Citizens’ Movement”, advocates working within the system to press for change.
On the Internet, he has called on officials to disclose their assets and fellow activists have gone into the streets to urge citizens to combat corruption.
Beijing police arrested Xu on Thursday on a charge of…
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