By Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

BEIJING (AP) - Police have detained a prominent human rights campaigner for allegedly using ID that wasn’t his own to buy train tickets, his lawyer said Thursday.

Jiang Tianyong’s family and friends last heard from him on Nov. 21 while he was in Changsha city in southern China visiting the wife of a rights lawyer detained in a broad crackdown that began last year.

U.N. special rapporteur on human rights, Philip Alston, said last week that he was concerned Jiang’s disappearance was a “reprisal” for a meeting between the two in August. The U.S. State Department has also pressed for information about Jiang’s whereabouts.

Lawyer Qin Chenshou said that police in Changsha told him Wednesday that Jiang had been administratively detained for nine days from Nov. 22 to Dec. 1. Qin said it was not clear where Jiang was or why he was still being held.

An officer at Changsha police station said he had no idea about the case and hung up.

People must show personal identification when buying train tickets in mainland China.

Jiang’s wife, Jin Bianling, said she last received a message from him on Nov. 21 in which he said he had bought a ticket for a late-night train to Beijing.

She also told The Associated Press on Thursday from her home in California that on Dec. 4 police raided a Beijing apartment that Jiang sometimes used and taken away his personal items, and also entered his brother’s Beijing apartment and taken away his tenant.

Jiang was a lawyer before being disbarred in 2009 but has continued his activism, recently helping to publicize the plight of nearly two dozen lawyers arrested as part of a sweeping 2015 government crackdown. He was also detained and beaten by police as part of his past human rights work involving some of China’s most sensitive cases, including that of blind activist Chen Guangcheng and followers of the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual group.

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