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Berlin condemns arrest of Chinese artist

The Local · 4 Apr 2011, 13:29

Published: 04 Apr 2011 13:29 GMT+02:00

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"I learned with great concern that Ai Weiwei was prevented from leaving Beijing on Sunday and has since been held," said Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who has himself just returned from a visit to Beijing and Tokyo.

He said in a statement he had impressed upon Chinese leaders the importance

of freedom of opinion and human rights during his trip.

"I call for an urgent explanation from the Chinese government and expect Ai Weiwei to be released without delay," added Westerwelle.

Ai's wife said earlier on Monday that police in Beijing had refused to disclose why they detained the artist, who helped design the city's famous "Bird's Nest" Olympic Stadium but has since irritated the authorities.

He was taken into custody on Sunday at Beijing's international airport as he prepared to board a flight "abroad", his wife said. Members of his staff said he was travelling to Hong Kong.

Story continues below…

His disappearance drew immediate concern from human rights groups and came after scores of dissidents, activists and rights lawyers were rounded up in recent weeks amid fears authorities are increasingly cracking down on dissent.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:19 April 4, 2011 by Loth
I get censored all the time when posting in the so called "Free" press in America. I don't think anyone is getting killed yet for their opinions though. So we are still a step ahead of some Banana Republics. But Censorship is a universal evil not just in China.
14:45 April 4, 2011 by Englishted
It is O.K . no trouble they are best friends of Germany at the U.N. or?
15:10 April 4, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:27 April 4, 2011 by DOZ
But still Germany Trades with China, so Germany is just blowing smoke out of it's hole.
16:37 April 4, 2011 by Altdude
Memo to self: Before announcing plans to expatriate from China, leave China.
18:06 April 4, 2011 by derExDeutsche
This guy is a hero. However, he can't be surprised. After they demolished his studios in China, he knew he was marked man. I think he knows full well what he is doing, and is TRYING to call attention to the struggle for freedom inside China. I mean, announcing where his new Studios would be built outside of China, etc., from China? it all seems kinda forward, no? Like he is trying to provocate the Fascists.

Oh well, call me when Englishted sends in the UN to save him.
22:51 April 4, 2011 by zeddriver
So lets see here. China tells the west that they need to use diplomacy to solve the human right issues in Libya. Yet, China has for years given the world the middle finger when confronted through diplomacy about it's human rights records.

And then there's Russia.

And yet, That's the two nations ( along with the nation of Islam) that all the budding socialists and communists that make up a majority of Europe choose to support. Why? I know. The enemy of my enemy is now my friend. Study history folks. More people have been killed and persecuted by those two forms of government. But everyone has been taught how the west is the most evil. The least of your and our problems are "the west" When China decides to annex Europe. Europe will cry that they hate the west to. But it will be to late.

I'll be the first to admit that the west is not perfect. But the persecution of the Indians and Blacks in America pale to the atrocities that the two nations I spoke of have committed. Stalin killed 20 million of his own citizens. Who knows about China. And A. H. killed 6 million or so. But wait a minute. The west are the evil ones.
01:27 April 5, 2011 by derExDeutsche
'This war, Mrs. Barham to which we Americans are so insensitive, is the result of 2,000 years of European greed, barbarism, superstition, and stupidity. Don't blame it on our Coca-cola bottles. Europe was a going brothel long before we came to town. '

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