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Amnesty condemns detention of Chinese-Australian artist

Published on Jun 3, 2014 1:03 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - Amnesty International has denounced Beijing's detention of a Chinese-Australian artist ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, calling the move part of a "merciless campaign of repression".

Artist Guo Jian, 52, was taken away from his Beijing home by police on Sunday night, associates said, one day after the publication of a Financial Times interview in which he revealed his work on a Tiananmen-themed art installation.

"Guo Jian is the latest victim of the Chinese authorities' merciless campaign of repression ahead of the Tiananmen anniversary," Mr William Nee, China researcher for Amnesty International, said in a statement late Monday. "He along with the scores of others detained for peacefully speaking out about the bloodshed of 1989 must be immediately released," Mr Nee said. "This current wave of detentions ahead of 4 June is harsher than in recent years."

Mr Guo, a former soldier and pro-democracy protester, revealed in the interview that he had created an artwork to privately commemorate the anniversary, covering a large diorama of Tiananmen Square with 160kg of minced meat. Editions of the Financial Times available in Beijing appeared to have been subjected to censorship over the weekend, with the section carrying the interview with Guo removed, and some hotels not receiving copies of the paper.

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