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One of China’s most prominent rights activists missing, feared detained by authorities

The wife of one of China’s most prominent human rights campaigners said on Thursday that he had disappeared during a trip to visit relatives of a detained rights lawyer.

Jiang Tianyong, a legal activist, has not been heard from since Monday when he was due to board a train to return to Beijing, according to his wife, Jin Bianling.

Jiang’s defence work has involved some of China’s most politically sensitive figures in recent years, including the dissident lawyer Gao Zhisheng and the blind activist Chen Guangcheng.

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Jiang was disbarred in 2009, but has continued his activism, recently helping to publicise the plight of nearly two dozen lawyers arrested as part of a sweeping 2015 government crackdown.

Jiang met with relatives of one of the jailed lawyers in Changsha in central Hubei province shortly before going missing.

He could not be reached on Thursday by his mobile phone, which was turned off.

Jiang said in June he feared he could be detained at any moment and rarely spent more than a few nights in one place.

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His wife said by telephone from California that her husband’s family sought to file a missing person report in his city of registered residence, Zhengzhou in Henan province, but police turned them away and told to seek information in Beijing instead.

The Ministry of Public Security in Beijing did not immediately respond to a fax requesting comment about Jiang’s whereabouts.