China: Detention of artist underlines severe repression ahead of Tiananmen anniversary

News
June 2, 2014

China: Detention of artist underlines severe repression ahead of Tiananmen anniversary

 

The Chinese authorities must end the severe persecution against all those attempting to mark the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown, said Amnesty International after a Chinese-born Australian artist became the latest to be detained for giving a media interview on the crackdown.

 

Police in Beijing took away Guo Jian, 52, shortly after publication of an interview he gave to the Financial Times.

 

“Guo Jian is the latest victim of the Chinese authorities’ merciless campaign of repression ahead of the Tiananmen anniversary. He, along with the scores of others detained for peacefully speaking out about the bloodshed of 1989, must be immediately released,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International. 

 

“This current wave of detentions ahead of 4 June is harsher than in recent years.” 

 

Amnesty International has received numerous reports of activists being warned by police not to speak to foreign media ahead of 4 June, while foreign journalists and their local staff have noted an increase in harassment in recent weeks. 

 

“The intimidation of journalists and their contacts shows the deplorable lengths the authorities are prepared to go in their efforts to wipe the bloodshed of 1989 from memory. However, the world remembers. People will continue to mark the anniversary despite the authorities’ efforts,” said William Nee.

 

Scores of activists have been detained, placed under house arrest or questioned by police in recent weeks for attempting to commemorate the anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown in June 1989 when hundreds, if not thousands, of unarmed protesters and civilians were killed or injured.