2 September, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/06/2011
CHINA
No response from Beijing to Ai Weiwei protests but arrests of dissidents continue
by Wang Zhicheng
Calls for his release mount, to the embarrassed silence of China. Meanwhile the persecution of dissidents continues. Experts say Beijing is showing it can arrest who it wants when it wants indifferent to international pressure.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Beijing is not responding to international calls for the immediate release of the artist Ai Weiwei and is trying to stop the spread of an on-line petition calling for support. Meanwhile, the persecution of dissidents continues.

There has been no official response to requests from, among others, the United States, France, Germany, Great Britain, the European Union and Australia for the immediate release of the artist, arrested by police on April 7 evening at Beijing airport on his way to Hong Kong. Since then he has disappeared, his wife, Lu Qing has had no news of his whereabouts. Only the state newspaper the Global Times today criticized Western governments for their intervention in matters of which they know nothing, and without first ascertaining the causes. Moreover, the newspaper gave no explanation, but delayed any analysis to “let history be the judge”.

Today saw the intervention of activist Zhao Lianhai , who defended the rights of sick children during the toxic milk scandal and was sentenced to prison on charges of causing social disorder. On his twitter site, Zhao has criticized the authorities for Ai’s unmotivated arrests and those of the hundreds of other dissidents detained since mid-February, and said that he and his family live under "severe pressure". Zhao is on conditional release for medical reasons and his statement is also significant given the high risk that because of it his freedom will be revoked.

Even the Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan's highest political body, in a rare comment on China’s internal politics called for "the Chinese side to immediately release Ai Weiwei and to give an adequate explanation of the episode”. Ai is known in Taiwan, where in November he held a solo exhibition.

On Twitter, hundreds of people signed a petition calling for the release of Ai, which was also blocked by Chinese censors.

Meanwhile, on April 5 the formal arrest of lawyer Shuangde Li was reported.  He was detained by police in Chengdu (Sichuan) March 21, accused of " credit card fraud ", as reported by the group Chinese Human Rights Defenders.

On 1 April a court in Xi'an (Shaanxi) sentenced activists Gao Qiang and Wang Wuqin to 2 years and 15 months in prison for "social disorder", in addition to a fine of 60 thousand yuan in damages.  The two are in jail since March 2010 for having organized a  protest in their village to obtain compensation for land expropriated to build a brick factory, built by the secretary of the Communist Party of the village.

Nicholas Bequelin of the Human Rigths Watch believes that there is a qualitative leap in the repression, because the detention of a person of Ai’s stature "can only be done with the approval of some of the top leaders." This arrest means that no matter how important you are, the police may arrest you when they choose. "

Chen Ziming, sentenced to 13 years in prison as an organizer of the pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square, said the government wants to get rid of all those who have been causing problems.

Even Urgen Tenzin, executive director of rights group Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, sees the arrest as "an example of the blatant human rights violations taking place in China." "This clearly shows – he says in an exclusive interview with AsiaNews - that human rights and freedom of speech do not exist for the powerful Chinese Communist Party." "China uses force to silence dissent, regardless of international opinion."

(Nirmala Carvalho collaborated)

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
12/12/2008 CHINA
Arrests continue for signers of Charter 08
03/13/2009 CHINA
Human rights award for Liu Xiaobo and for Charter 08
07/24/2012 CHINA
The battle for democracy in China is changing gear
09/29/2011 CHINA
Arrests and convictions, some illegal, ahead of October 1
06/05/2010 CHINA
Beijing: For the 21st anniversary of Tiananmen, thousands of tourists and (some) police

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.