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China deports Australian artist after Tiananmen remarks

Published on Jun 16, 2014 7:39 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China deported a well-known Chinese-born Australian artist on Monday after he was detained following his comments on 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 month after an interview with the Financial Times regarding his experiences as a protester during the army's violent dispersal of the demonstrators 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.

Melanie Wang, a friend of Guo's, told reporters at Beijing airport that he had been put on an Air China flight to Sydney. "I'll be taking off immediately. Thank you, all of you," Guo said in a telephone call to Wang, which she recorded and played to journalists at the airport.

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