Report: China detains activist lawyer Xu Zhiyong, who campaigned against government abuses

A rights group says Chinese lawyer Xu Zhiyong has been detained after calling for the release of activists and campaigning against government abuses.

Human Rights in China said Wednesday that police had also taken computers and mobile phones from Xu's Beijing home.

A scanned detention notice distributed by the New York-based group said Xu was detained Tuesday evening on suspicion of gathering people to disturb order in a public place. No cause was given for the vaguely defined charge.

Beijing police did not immediately answer faxed questions about Xu, who has campaigned for causes ranging from the closure of illegal detention centers to the public disclosure of officials' personal assets.

Officers at Beijing's No. 3 Jail, where Xu was reportedly being held, said they weren't permitted to speak to media.