Amnesty International Condemns Tiananmen Crackdown, Including Arrest of Chinese-Australian Artist Guo Jian

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By Athena Yenko | June 4, 2014 12:18 PM EST

Amnesty International condemns China's crackdown on Tiananmen Square massacre 25th anniversary, including the arrest of well-known Chinese-Australian artist Guo Jian.

The crackdown aims to stop the public from commemorating the victims of the massacre that happened on June 4, 1989.

Jian was detained in Beijing on Sunday night. He was arrested from his home  in Songzhuang.

"Guo Jian is the latest victim of the Chinese authorities' merciless campaign of repression ahead of the Tiananmen anniversary. He along with the scores of others detained for peacefully speaking out about the bloodshed of 1989 must be immediately released. This current wave of detentions ahead of 4 June is harsher than in recent years," William Nee, China researcher for Amnesty International, said in a statement.

To date, Amnesty International was able to document 66 activists being persecuted by Chinese police.  

"The past few days have seen the Chinese authorities ratchet up the repression. They appear willing to stop at nothing in their attempts to prevent people from marking the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown . They have gone further when compared to past years including the 20th anniversary, with more people criminally detained this time," Nee said.

Nee is calling for Chinese authorities to stop its ruthless punishment as it breached freedom of expression.

"The authorities must cease this campaign of severe persecution. All those detained for peacefully speaking out about the Tiananmen crackdown must be immediately released. The authorities' suffocating grip on freedom of expression  will not stop people in China and around the world from remembering the victims of 4 June 1989." 

Amnesty International reiterated its calls on the Chinese government to:

- Publicly acknowledge the human rights violations which occurred in the Tiananmen crackdown of 1989; 

- Launch an open and independent inquiry and hold those responsible for human rights violations accountable;

- Provide compensation to victims of the 1989 crackdown and their families;

- Cease harassment and prosecution of those commemorating or speaking out about the 1989 Tiananmen protests and those more generally exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly.

All names of individual being detained as a result of the crackdown can be found at: http://livewire.amnesty.org/2014/05/20/chinas-tiananmen-anniversary-blackout/.

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