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China stops prominent rights lawyer from meeting German minister

Published on Apr 23, 2014 5:05 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Chinese police blocked a prominent human rights lawyer from meeting Germany's deputy chancellor, the lawyer said on Wednesday, in the latest example of curbs on government critics in China.

Deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel was unable to hold talks with members of Chinese civil society during a visit to Beijing on Tuesday, though he declined to comment on why the planned meeting at the German embassy had not taken place.

Mr Gabriel had told reporters travelling with him to China that he would meet critics of the Chinese government, saying he believed that European politicians had an obligation to show support for such dissidents.

But police came to the office of the human rights lawyer, Mo Shaoping, and said they had received orders "from above" that Mr Mo was not allowed to attend, Mr Mo told Reuters. "They must have understood that I had been invited and so came over to say that I could not go," he said. "This is quite typical. It's not the first time it has happened."

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