On April 2, China's political police detained Ai Weiwei, one of China's loudest political critics and most respected artists, and he hasn't been seen since. Here, with an Open Letter to the Chinese ambassador to London, Dazed encourages you to make your voice heard. Weiwei's disappearance - and the detention of his wife and several members of his studio staff - is the latest interference with basic human rights from China's police. The roundup of political activists show the Chinese regime's apparent concern for a similar chain of events like the 'Jasmine Revolution' currently shaking the Middle East. Use this opportunity to tell the Chinese government that they must end their repression of human rights...
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.
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Photo by Bert van Dijk