China to deport Australian artist after Tiananmen remarks
Published on Jun 6, 2014 11:50 AM
BEIJING (REUTERS) - A well-known Chinese-born Australian artist will be deported from China, Australian officials said on Friday, after he spoke about the 25th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
Guo Jian, 52, a former Chinese soldier, was detained last week after an interview with the Financial Times regarding his experiences as a protester during the army's violent dispersal of the pro-democracy movement around the square on June 4, 1989.
His detention was seen as part of a wider effort by authorities to stifle criticism of the government and remembrance of those who died in connection with the events 25 years ago. "Chinese authorities have advised Mr. Guo was detained on a visa-related matter," an official of Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told Reuters in an email. "We understand Mr Guo will be detained for 15 days and then required to depart China."
Australian consular officials visited Guo on Thursday, and had sought an explanation for his detention since June 1, the spokesperson said, adding that he would receive "all appropriate consular assistance" while being held.
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