According to information reported online, Xu Zhiyong (许志永), Beijing-based constitutional law scholar and civic action organizer, has been criminally detained by the “Public Transportation Safety Protection Branch” of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau (北京市公安局公共交通安全保卫分局) on July 16. The detention notice, dated 8 p.m. July 16 Beijing time, says that Xu is being detained on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disturb order in a public place,” and held at the Beijing No. 3 Detention Center.
Reports also say that three computers, Xu’s mobile phone, and other items were confiscated by the police from Xu’s home.
Previously, in a June 20, 2013 tweet, Xu said that he had been under house arrest since April 12 this year. That month, Xu signed an open letter demanding the authorities to immediately release citizens who are advocates of public disclosure of government officials’ assets. (In a tweet today, Teng Biao (滕彪), rights defense lawyer and co-signer of the open letter, says that his mobile phone has been shut down since noon and he believes that it is related to Xu’s case.) Also in April, Xu supported Zhang Anni and Zhang Lin when police prevented Anni from attending school.
Xu is a proponent of a new citizens’ movement. An English translation of his May 2012, “China Needs a New Citizens’ Movement” was published in the 2012 no. 1 issue of China Rights Forum.
For more information on Xu Zhiyong, see: