(Image by 张瑜 via Wikimedia Commons)

Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Yu (王宇) was detained by police in Beijing in front of the embassy of the United States on Wednesday.

According to media reports, Wang had been invited to attend a seminar on domestic violence that took place on the evening of March 27 inside the embassy.

Before entering the building, Wang was asked by police during a security check to produce her identity card. She allegedly refused to comply, and asked on the basis of what law the officers were making the request.

The police replied that they were acting in accordance with Article 9 of the People’s Police Law. The Law states that for the purpose of “protecting public order” the People’s Police may request individuals suspected of violating the law to produce identity documentation, as well as cross-examine and search them on the spot.

When Wang Yu refused to show her ID she was handcuffed and forcibly taken away in a police car. The scene was witnessed by Tang Zhishun, a land rights activist who accompanied Wang to the embassy.

Wang was reportedly first taken to Maizidian district police station and later transferred to the Chaoyang branch of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.

Wang Yu was one of the first lawyers to be detained four years ago during the infamous “709 crackdown“, when Chinese police arrested and interrogated about 300 rights lawyers, legal assistants, and activists.

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