Eight rights activists in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen are missing and believed detained on Monday after a meal they attended was raided by state security police and 10 people were taken away.
"Eight of the people who were detained are now, it seems, incommunicado," a source close to the incident told RFA. "We don't know if they've been formally detained, because there has been no official notification of detention."
"All of their cell phones are switched off, and we haven't been able to get through to them."
At least two people have been released following the raid on a gathering at a restaurant near the Wuhe subway station in Shenzhen last Tuesday, activists said.
Among those detained were Deng Hongcheng, Xiao Bing, Wang Wei, Wang Jun, Li Yan, and Shen Li, sources told RFA.
Calls to the nearby Longgang police station rang unanswered during office hours on Monday.
However, Shenzhen rights activist Huang Meijuan told RFA that Wang Jun's fiancee had been told that the case was being handled by the Bantian police station, and that he could be facing subversion charges.
"She went to the Bantian police affairs office who told her the case was being handled by the Bantian police station, and that he'd been detained on suspicion of incitement to subvert state power," Huang said. "They also said he was being held at the Longgang Detention Center."
"I went with her again to the Bantian police station today, and the duty officer checked for her and said that there was nobody of that name in their computer," she said.
"The police station are now denying all knowledge of any case involving Wang Jun."
Online activist sentenced
Last week, a court in the eastern province of Shandong handed a five-year jail term to online activist Sun Feng after holding him in pretrial detention for two years, rights activists said.
Sun had posted a photo of himself holding a placard protesting growing injustices under the "one party dictatorship" of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
Sun had also penned an article titled "The Communist Bandits, members of the Marxist-Leninist evil cult of atheism and dialectical materialism have destroyed one of the cornerstones of human civilization," and posted it online, for which he was initially jailed for 10 days under an administrative sentence without trial.
Sun was jailed on Nov. 17 by the Intermediate People's Court in Shandong's Zibo city, which found him guilty of "incitement to subvert state power," the Weiquanwang rights website reported.
He had been redetained after "carrying out further illegal activities" while out on bail in 2014, Weiquanwang reported.
Reported by Yang Fan for RFA's Mandarin Service, and by Hai Nan for the Cantonese Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.