Amnesty International Responds to Release of Ai Weiwei

Press Release
June 22, 2011

Amnesty International Responds to Release of Ai Weiwei

Contact: AIUSA media relations, 202-509-8194

(Washington, D.C.) -- In reaction to reports that Ai Weiwei has been released on bail "because of his good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from," Catherine Baber, Amnesty International's Asia Pacific deputy director said:

"While Ai Weiwei's release on bail is an important step, the reality is his long detention without charge violated China's own legal process.

"Ai Weiwei must now be granted his full liberty, and not be held in illegal house arrest as has been the pattern with so many others recently released from arbitrary detention.

"It is vital that the international outcry over Ai Weiwei be extended to those activists still languishing in secret detention or charged with inciting subversion.

"His release can be seen as a tokenistic move by the government to deflect mounting criticism," said Baber.

His four associates Wen Tao, Hu Mingfen, Liu Zhenggang, Zhang Jinsong still secretly detained should also be immediately released.

Ai Weiwei is one of over 130 activists detained since February in the crackdown on "Jasmine" activists.

Ai Wewei's release coincides with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao's visit to the United Kingdom and Germany, countries where the artist has strong professional ties and public support.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

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