China Arrests Leading Artist in Crackdown on Free Speech

China has continued its effort to avoid the type of protests for freedom seen in other authoritarian regimes. By permitting free speech or association? No, a more classic approach. The Chinese are rounding up bloggers, lawyers, activists, and anyone who has expressed free thought in the last few years. The latest is prominent artist Ai Weiwei, who was arrested trying to board a flight to Hong Kong.

Chinese officials are fearful that a “jasmine revolution” might break out in China so they are throwing any free thinker into jail for “inciting subversion of state power. This has included Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner, who received an 11-year prison sentence. Free speech advocates have simply disappeared and the authorities have blocked Twitter and other avenues for uninhibited, unregulated speech.

Ai, 53, was the artistic director for the “Bird’s Nest” Olympic Stadium, but later became a critic of the games. When he was arrested in 2009 he was beaten so badly that he required surgery to have blood drained from his brain.

For those of us who call ourselves civil libertarians, it is important to keep in mind that people like Ai have stood up for freedom in the face of beatings and arrests.

Source: Washington Post

Jonathan Turley

11 thoughts on “China Arrests Leading Artist in Crackdown on Free Speech”


    “In the past few years, since Wen Jiabao (the Chinese premier) began calling for justice and freedom, some people have been misled into thinking that we really should be fighting for justice and freedom. But as Ai said, being truly patriotic in China means committing a crime, because they still cannot tolerate different voices and they use a very simple, and sometimes violent approach, to make people tow the line.” ~from the article

    AY, do we here in this Country suffer more from too much law, lack of law or inappropriate administration of the law…or some other beast entirely?

  2. Why does the Human Rights Community in this country not begin to organize boycotts of Chinese products?

  3. AY,

    It’s supposed to rain today (60% of strong storms) and it both looks and feels like it. How is DFW? Hot and full of bad drivers?

  4. Frank,

    Of course it was…..The older I get…the more questions I have….for a long time….of course, I had all of the answers…its just your questions were inconsistent with what I had to say….


    How hails the weather in swapland…..

  5. AY, was your previous job putting the question mark after “The End” in ’50’s horror movies?

  6. and when they come to your door for protesting at the Capitol….being arrested under the authority of unlawful assembly…you will know….that we are not much different…..or are we….

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