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.