Thursday, 14 April 2011

Free Ai Weiwei

The world is not as it should be, Ai Weiwei has been detained at Beijing airport for being a suspected criminal sic. 'outspoken government critic', his family and studio staff have also received similar 'controls'. This is a far leap from his involvement in the design of the Bird's Nest Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Bird's Nest Stadium.

The artist was ranked 13 in the top 100 most powerful artists by Art Review last year. It's saddening to hear of such injustices happening in China, anywhere for that matter. It's important that everyone is given the same freedoms around the world.

I urge you to write a letter to the Chinese ambassador, here's one we made earlier....

Dear Ambassador Liu,

I am writing to urge you to do everything within your power to guarantee the immediate and unconditional release of Ai Weiwei and others arbitrarily detained in China since late February, unless the Chinese authorities can show reasonable grounds for suspecting them of having committed an internationally recognisable criminal offence. While they remain in custody, the authorities must ensure they have access to their family, legal representation of their choice and any medical care they may require. The authorities must guarantee they will not be tortured or otherwise ill-treated.

I am deeply concerned that since an anonymous online call on 17 February to stage a ‘Jasmine Revolution’ in China more than a hundred activists, many of them active on Twitter and blogs, have been detained, put under surveillance or illegal house arrest, or have simply gone missing. Moreover, at least a dozen lawyers say they have been briefly detained and pressured by the authorities not to take up cases defending those detained, and even told by police to stop tweeting about detained people.

The Chinese authorities must end their repression of calls for peaceful political reform and instead listen to its own people. I am urging the Chinese authorities to take effective measures to guarantee freedom of expression, association and assembly in line with China’s Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which China has signed and declared an intention to ratify.

Copy and paste the letter into an email and send it to

We are no longer in the dark, the internet has allowed those in need and wanting change to speak out, I plan to listen and be counted.

I wish you well Ai Weiwei and I hope that you are released in time for the unveiling of your Pulitzer Fountain work in New York.

=Youtube video to follow once home - here is the link for now.

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