A lawyer for a Chinese human rights activist facing trial for disrupting public order says he and a fellow defense attorney will not attend Friday's court proceedings because authorities haven't let them copy court files crucial to the case.

Lawyer Chen Guangwu said Thursday that he and colleague Zhang Xuezhong aren't prepared to mount an effective defense for Yang Maodong. The district court in the southern city of Guangzhou banned them from copying docket files including videos and photos related to Yang's arrest on suspicion of assembling crowds to disrupt public order.

Calls to the court were not answered Thursday.

Yang is better known by his pen name Guo Feixiong and was detained last year after he joined public rallies calling for press freedom.