Lawyers for detained Chinese church leader, aides, assaulted amid crackdown

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A group of Chinese rights lawyers advocating for a detained Christian pastor and his aides say they have been assaulted by a crowd of unidentified people who also harassed a British television crew.

Lawyer Liu Weiguo said someone flung a brick at his head, causing it to bleed, while several other attorneys also were hurt Friday as the crowd of men and women roughed up the lawyers who had traveled to Henan province's Nanle county.

Friday was the latest confrontation in a land dispute that pits an influential local church leader against a county government and has drawn the scrutiny of lawyers and activists around the nation.

Lawyers say the detained pastor and other church leaders are being punished for resisting the local authorities' attempts to seize the church's land.