Posts Tagged ‘Ai Weiwei’

Ai Weiwei says U.S. surveillance reminds him of China

June 12, 2013
Chinese activist Ai Weiwei

Chinese activist Ai Weiwei

Chinese activist Ai Weiwei has had his share of experience with heavy-handed treatment by the government, having been detained for 81 days by China’s secret police in 2011. Now the Beijing-based artist says another country reminds him of China: the United States.

In a column in The Guardian this morning, Ai harshly criticizes the U.S. government for the NSA’s PRISM Internet surveillance program — a program The Guardian has been at the forefront of reporting on over the past week.

“Privacy is a basic human right, one of the very core values,” Ai writes. “There is no guarantee that China, the US or any other government will not use the information falsely or wrongly. I think especially that a nation like the US, which is technically advanced, should not take advantage of its power. It encourages other nations.”

In another comparison that Americans are unlikely to appreciate, Ai adds, “In the Soviet Union before, in China today, and even in the US, officials always think what they do is necessary, and firmly believe they do what is best for the state and the people. But the lesson that people should learn from history is the need to limit state power.”

Praise for Edward Snowden, the leaker behind the PRISM story who was last seen in Hong Kong, has been widespread in China.

“This is the definition of heroism,” wrote one Chinese blogger. “Doing this proves he genuinely cares about this country and about his country’s citizens. All countries need someone like him!”

“This young fellow truly is a human rights warrior!” declared the well-known nationalist writer Wang Xiaodong. “He has now fled to Chinese territory, and must be protected. We must withstand U.S. pressure, and make a contribution to world human rights!”

Ai doesn’t mention Snowden explicitly in his column, but the Chinese dissident may very well feel the same way.

Published by WP Social Reader.


October 25, 2012

Grass Mud Horse Style by Chinese dissident and artist Ai Weiwei.

Concern for missing Chinese artist Ai Weiwei

April 6, 2011
Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei

The response from the West has been toothless. It is time now that China was referred to the UN’s Human Rights council, because these disappearances are such a departure from China commitment to UN mechanisms. — Nicholas Bequelin, Human Rights Watch Hong Kong

I didn’t care about jasmine at first, but people who are scared by jasmine sent out information about how harmful jasmine is often, which makes me realize that jasmine is what scares them the most. What a jasmine! — Ai Weiwei

There is growing concern for Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei 艾未未 who has not been seen since he was detained on Sunday whilst trying to board a plane in Bejing bound for Hong Kong.

His detention and disappearance is part of a crackdown by the Chinese authorities fearful of the spread of pro-democarcy protests as seen in the Middle East.

Beijing lawyer Liu Xiaoyan told the BBC he had been summoned by the police and held for 10 hours last Saturday after posting online notes asking about a missing Shanghai lawyer.

Ai Weiwei is an internationally renowned artist. He currently has an exhibition at the Tate Modern gallery in London. He was one of the designers of the iconic birds nest stadium at the Chinese Olympics. He is one of the fiercest critics of the Chinese government, his international reputation has until now safeguarded him from detention.

Ai Weiwei is the son of the late Ai Qing, one of China’s greatest modern poets, which may aslo up to now have afforded him a degree of protection.

To target Ai Weiwei, the order must have come from the top, which indicates a Tiananmen Square crackdown.

China has still to recognise and acknowledge that the Tiananmen Square massacre took place, to release all political prisoners, allow public debate of this terrible event in Chinese history.

Should Bob Dylan have played in China? Should he have have allowed the Communist leadership dictate the playlist?

Ai Weiwei suffers for princelings’ paranoia
Ai Weiwei’s wife fears for his safety
Concern mounts over missing Chinese artist Ai Weiwei
Chinese Dissident Liu Xiaobo Awarded Nobel Peace Prize
Eyewitness account of Tiananmen Square

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