World

China state media slams lawyers as rabble-rousers in crackdown on alleged illegal activism

  • FILE - In this April 18, 2015 file photo, Chinese lawyer Wang Yu speaks during an interview in Beijing. China's state media on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 accused more than two dozen human rights attorneys rounded up in recent days, including Wang Yu, of being troublemakers intent on illegal activism as foreign governments and rights groups expressed growing concern over the arrests. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

    FILE - In this April 18, 2015 file photo, Chinese lawyer Wang Yu speaks during an interview in Beijing. China's state media on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 accused more than two dozen human rights attorneys rounded up in recent days, including Wang Yu, of being troublemakers intent on illegal activism as foreign governments and rights groups expressed growing concern over the arrests. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • A woman is reflected on a glass as she reads a Global Times newspaper published a story of detained human rights lawyers, and calling the U.S. criticism uncomfortable but inconsequential, in Beijing Tuesday, July 14, 2015. China’s state media on Tuesday accused more than two dozen human rights attorneys rounded up in recent days of being troublemakers intent on illegal activism as foreign governments and rights groups expressed growing concern over the arrests. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

    A woman is reflected on a glass as she reads a Global Times newspaper published a story of detained human rights lawyers, and calling the U.S. criticism uncomfortable but inconsequential, in Beijing Tuesday, July 14, 2015. China‚Äôs state media on Tuesday accused more than two dozen human rights attorneys rounded up in recent days of being troublemakers intent on illegal activism as foreign governments and rights groups expressed growing concern over the arrests. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 18, 2015 file photo, Chinese lawyer Wang Yu speaks during an interview in Beijing. China's state media on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 accused more than two dozen human rights attorneys rounded up in recent days, including Wang Yu, of being troublemakers intent on illegal activism as foreign governments and rights groups expressed growing concern over the arrests. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

    FILE - In this April 18, 2015 file photo, Chinese lawyer Wang Yu speaks during an interview in Beijing. China's state media on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 accused more than two dozen human rights attorneys rounded up in recent days, including Wang Yu, of being troublemakers intent on illegal activism as foreign governments and rights groups expressed growing concern over the arrests. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)  (The Associated Press)

China's state media is slamming a group of detained lawyers as rabble-rousers while the authoritarian government wages an unprecedented crackdown on human rights attorneys by detaining dozens of them and accusing them of illegal activism.

The rights advocacy group Amnesty International now says that 25 human rights lawyers and civil activists have been detained or are missing in the crackdown that began last Thursday.

Dozens more have been warned not to speak up or act on behalf of those detained.

Rights groups and foreign governments are increasingly concerned about the developments.

The U.S. state department has condemned the detentions and urged that the lawyers be released.

Meanwhile, state media on Tuesday accused them of seeking fame for personal gain and trying to sabotage China's legal system with protests outside courts.