Friday, 15 April 2011

Keeping Ai in the News

There is someone on the streets of Hong Kong spray painting an image of Ai Weiwei on the sidewalks with the question, "Who is afraid of Ai Weiwei?"

At first they started appearing on Cochrane Street along the Mid-Levels escalator in Central and on Wing Lok Street in Sheung Wan, but they were also spotted in Kowloon too.

Police have classified the case as one of criminal damage and detectives from the Central police station are investigating. It's been reported the possible suspect is a woman.

The 53-year-old Ai has not been heard of since he was detained on April 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport.

And finally Hong Kong officials are going to ask the Chinese government about him.

Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, a Hong Kong member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee said she would ask relevant departments about Ai's case.

"The law stipulates that police have to notify a detainee's family about his detention within 48 hours. Why wasn't his family informed? I don't know who Ai Weiwei is and whether he is a dissident. But every Chinese citizen should enjoy the same legal protection," she said.

While she is correct about the law, one wonders if she is naive about the reality of rule of law in China. How come it took her so long to speak up about this? And how could she not know who Ai is? Where has she been?

In any case it'll be interesting to see what response she gets -- perhaps a warning not to meddle in the country's internal affairs.

Regardless diplomatic pressure needs to be kept up if we want Ai released soon.

1 comment:

  1. what is happening in china now is just like the spanish inquisition. it is a dark age of civil liberty. a gross disregard of basic human rights.