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Son of Chinese human rights lawyer detained in Myanmar

The son of a prominent Chinese human rights lawyer has gone missing in Myanmar. The child's mother has also gone missing, as Beijing cracks down on activists at home.

Bao Zhuoxuan, the 16-year-old son of a detained human rights lawyer, has gone missing in Myanmar on his way to the United States, a family friend told reporters.

The friend, Zhou Fengshuo, told multiple news agencies that men who looked like police officers took Bao from the guesthouse where he'd been staying. He said Chinese police were most likely involved.

"We're really worried now. He's just a 16-year-old boy," Zhou told the Associated Press news agency.

Crackdown on human rights

Bao's mother, Wang Yu (pictured),

disappeared on July 9

during a crackdown on human rights lawyers in China. She was known for representing political activists, dissidents and marginalized voices, including a jailed woman's rights activist. Bao's father, also an activist, was detained later.

According to Zhou, the 16-year-old was planning to travel secretly to the US, where he has family in San Francisco. He has said Beijing wants to use him as a political hostage against his parents.

Beijing has faced staunch international condemnation for its suppression of free speech and its tendency to jail political dissidents. The government has been known in the past to target family members of activists.

blc/rc (AP, AFP)

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