Friend: Chinese activist's colleagues freed too

2011-06-25 14:45
Beijing - Colleagues of Ai Weiwei who were detained along with the outspoken Chinese artist were released around the same time he was, a close friend of Ai's said on Saturday.

Ai was released on Wednesday after nearly three months in detention. He was one of the most prominent activists detained in China's sweeping crackdown on dissent, which began in February.

Ai's driver Zhang Jinsong, designer Liu Zhenggang and accountant Hu Mingfen were all released this week, Liu Xiaoyuan, a lawyer and a close friend of Ai, said in a phone interview.

Liu said Ai confirmed that the three had been released but did not say exactly when. The 54-year-old Ai has said he is not allowed to discuss his case.

A studio assistant, Wen Tao, has also been released, said Liu Yanping, a volunteer who works with Ai. She said over the phone that Wen's girlfriend told her on Saturday that he had been released.

Reporting on sensitive subjects

Dozens of rights activists and lawyers have been detained, put under house arrest or disappeared, and several of those who have been released have kept almost totally silent ever since.

Ai was detained on April 3. The authoritarian government said he was released after confessing to tax evasion and pledging to repay the money owed.

His family denies the allegations and activists have denounced them as a false premise for detaining an artist critical of the government.

Before his detention, Ai constantly blogged and tweeted on sensitive subjects including the deaths of students in shoddily built schools that collapsed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake; children killed or sickened by tainted infant formula; and a deadly high-rise fire in Shanghai that killed 58 and was blamed on negligent workers and corrupt inspectors.

The Foreign Ministry said the conditions of Ai's parole require him to report to police when asked and bar him from leaving Beijing without permission for one year.

Read more on:    ai weiwei  |  china  |  human rights

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may feel the urge to merge, but it may be better to escape into a tranquil and quiet setting and connect with your personal...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.