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China formally arrests rich activist businessman

October 21. 2013 1:36AM
Associated Press

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(AP) Chinese authorities have formally arrested a wealthy Chinese businessman who was a key supporter of a civil society group that's been the target of a wide-ranging crackdown this year.

Attorney Chen Youxi, who represents venture capitalist Wang Gongquan, said Monday that Beijing prosecutors informed him that they've approved Wang's arrest.

Wang was detained in mid-September on suspicion of "gathering crowds to disturb public order."

The vaguely defined charge has been used to prosecute many members of a loosely organized movement that's been pushing for greater public participation in Chinese civil society on political issues.

Supporters estimate that around 30 members of the group known as the New Citizens Movement have been detained or arrested across the country since March.

Beijing prosecutors did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Associated Press

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