Tuesday, May 3, 2011

CHINA - repression continues

A week after the arrest of the artist Ai Weiwei, April 3 at the airport in Beijing, Chinese authorities continue to expand their repression. Security forces have arrested the cousin of the artist and conducted a search of his new studio in the suburbs of Beijing on April 8, reports the Hong Kong daily Ming Pao.

Police have released no information to his family about his arrest, but the official news agency Xinhua announced on April 9 Ai Weiwei is under investigation for "economic crimes". Since February, nearly 200 people were expelled, arrested or placed under house arrest without having necessarily a link with the calls for "jasmine revolution," reports the site Weiquan Wang, an offshoot of the China Human Rights organization Defenders.

Thirty militants, bloggers and defenders of human rights have been formally arrested. Eighteen people were reported missing have been released, but there is still no news of about a dozen more. In addition, more than a hundred Christians were arrested by police Sunday, April 10 in Beijing while trying to meet in the street, said the Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post.

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