China protest over artist's detention

2011-04-23 20:30
Hong Kong - An estimated 2 000 people marched in Hong Kong on Saturday to demand to release of detained Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei.

A noisy crowd made its way from the city's Mongkok district to the Cultural Centre calling for the release of the artist who was detained as he tried to board a flight in Beijing on April 3.

Prominent local artists were among those who took part in the march which saw some arguments and scuffles between protesters and police.

Organisers of the march claimed 2 000 people took part, including many who joined the march as it made its way through busy shopping districts.

Ai Weiwei, a critic of the Beijing government, has been detained since he tried to board a flight to Hong Kong. The government says he is being investigating for economic crimes.

His detention comes amid a crackdown in China on dissidents and artists, which has seen dozens of activists detained or placed under house arrest in recent weeks.

People in Hong Kong, a former British colony which reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, have freedoms of expression and rights to protest denied to people elsewhere in China.
Read more on:    china

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