Pu Zhiqiang. Pic: AP.

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities have detained rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang in an apparent bid to deter activists from marking the upcoming 25th anniversary of a brutal military suppression of pro-democracy protesters.

Activist Hu Jia and Si Weijiang, a Shanghai-based attorney, said Pu had been criminally detained by Beijing police after attending a meeting to discuss the 1989 crackdown on demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

Pu enjoys mainstream prominence that is unusual for most dissidents. Despite his outspoken criticism of the government, he has been featured in magazines and interviewed about labor camps, against which he led high-profile campaigns.

Si says Beijing police have accused Pu of “creating a disturbance,” a vaguely defined charge that has been increasingly used by Chinese authorities to target political dissidents.

Beijing police had no immediate comment.