Tag Archives | Ai Weiwei

Evidence Suggests That Chen Guangcheng’s Wasn’t Under House Arrest At Time Of ‘Escape’

16 escape stories with only one that makes sense

The blind Chinese dissident, Chen Guangcheng has finally “escaped” the “brutal” treatment of the Chinese “regime” and landed in the “free” world. The world – in particular the American media – called this a human rights win for America.

While a million American students are reportedly homeless, Chen and his family of four were given two apartments for free: one for his personal security, the other at the “ideally located (but expensive)” graduate residence hall in Washington Square Village.

While 48% of American students are burdened by debt, Chen and his family are enjoying free education in the US: Chen is reportedly having two hours of English lessons in the morning, and he “spends many afternoons meeting legal experts one on one.”

While the American Congress is in a political grid-lock most of the time with no solution to the $16 trillion debt, both sides of the political divide appear to unite in welcoming Chen and his family to their activities in the US.… Read the rest

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To Live Your Life in Fear Is Worse Than Losing Your Freedom

Hafenbar (CC)

Ai Weiwei writing in the Guardian:

A year ago tomorrow, I was released from more than two months of secret detention. Police told me today that they have lifted my bail conditions. I am happy that the year is up, but also feel sorry about it. I have no sense of why I lost my freedom and if you don’t know how you lost something, how can you protect it?

“Wei” means “future” and also “uncertainty”, and the future really is unknown. They have said I cannot leave China because they are still investigating cases against me – for pornography, exchanging foreign currency and bigamy. It is very, very strange. I am not a criminal. They grabbed something from me because they have power.

The 81 days of detention were a nightmare. I am not unique: this has happened to many people, and is still happening.

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China Tells U.S. to Quit As Human Rights Judge

Human Rights in ChinaChris Buckley reports for Reuters:
The United States is beset by violence, racism and torture and has no authority to condemn other governments' human rights problems, China said on Sunday, countering U.S. criticism of Beijing's crackdown. The row between Beijing and Washington over human rights has intensified since China's ruling Communist Party extended its clampdown on dissidents and rights activists, a move which has sparked an outcry from Washington and other Western governments. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is the most prominent of the activists to be detained by police or held in secretive custody in the latest crackdown. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday she was "deeply concerned" about it, and cited "negative trends" including Ai's detention.
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Outspoken Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Arrested & Detained in Beijing, Current Status Unknown

Ai Weiwei

Photo: Hafenbar (CC)

Kyle Chayka writes on Hyperallergic:

Reports have been flying from Twitter that approximately 14 hours ago just before a planned flight to Hong Kong, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been arrested and detained at the Beijing airport. 10 hours ago [Sunday morning Beijing time], police raided Ai’s studio on the outskirts of Beijing. Ai’s status is now unknown: his phone is off, and power has been cut to the studio. The Guardian has the first official report of the events. Here are the details of the arrest:

Ai was due to fly to Hong Kong for business this morning, but was detained at immigration on his way out of Beijing. An officer told an assistant who was travelling with him that the artist had “other business” and could not board the plane.

Between 15 and 20 uniformed and plain clothes police surrounded his studio in Caochangdi, in the north of the capital, and more were believed to be searching it.

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