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Wife says police take away Chinese lawyer who voiced support for detained rights lawyers

  • In this Thursday, July 23, 2015 photo, Chinese lawyer Yu Wensheng holds up his hands to show how death row prisoners are handcuffed 24 hours a day during an interview at his office in Beijing. Chinese lawyer who spoke up on behalf of rights lawyers persecuted by authorities was himself taken away by police in handcuffs, his wife said Friday, Aug. 7. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    In this Thursday, July 23, 2015 photo, Chinese lawyer Yu Wensheng holds up his hands to show how death row prisoners are handcuffed 24 hours a day during an interview at his office in Beijing. Chinese lawyer who spoke up on behalf of rights lawyers persecuted by authorities was himself taken away by police in handcuffs, his wife said Friday, Aug. 7. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Thursday, July 23, 2015, Chinese lawyer Yu Wensheng speaks during an interview at his office in Beijing. Yu who spoke up on behalf of rights lawyers persecuted by authorities was himself taken away by police in handcuffs, his wife said Friday, Aug. 7. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    In this photo taken Thursday, July 23, 2015, Chinese lawyer Yu Wensheng speaks during an interview at his office in Beijing. Yu who spoke up on behalf of rights lawyers persecuted by authorities was himself taken away by police in handcuffs, his wife said Friday, Aug. 7. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Thursday, July 23, 2015, Chinese lawyer Yu Wensheng speaks during an interview at his office in Beijing. Yu who spoke up on behalf of rights lawyers persecuted by authorities was himself taken away by police in handcuffs, his wife said Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    In this photo taken Thursday, July 23, 2015, Chinese lawyer Yu Wensheng speaks during an interview at his office in Beijing. Yu who spoke up on behalf of rights lawyers persecuted by authorities was himself taken away by police in handcuffs, his wife said Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)  (The Associated Press)

A Chinese lawyer who spoke up on behalf of rights lawyers persecuted by authorities has himself been taken away by police in handcuffs.

Xu Yan, the wife of Yu Wensheng, said Friday that police came the previous night and pried open the door to the couple's Beijing apartment. They took away Yu, and confiscated his computer, flash drives and other digital storage units. Xu says her husband was summoned on suspicion of causing troubles, although he has yet to be formally detained.

Beijing has detained dozens of rights lawyers since early July, accusing them of being part of a criminal gang that sabotaged China's legal system in pursuit of money and fame, but critics say the lawyers are being punished for their insistence that the law be followed.