Ai Weiwei's release elicits calls for China to free more dissidents
Many world leaders and activists are using Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's release to urge China to ease restrictions on dissent.
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Amnesty International says Ai's release is not evidence of any change in the Chinese government's tactic toward critics.Skip to next paragraph
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“His release on bail can be seen as a tokenistic move by the government to deflect mounting criticism,” said Catherine Baber, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Asia Pacific.
“It is vital that the international outcry over Ai Weiwei be extended to those activists still languishing in secret detention or charged with inciting subversion.”
While the news of Ai's release is being talked about across the world, Chinese censors are working hard to keep discussion of Ai offline. CNN went black on local TV screens, while it broadcasted the news, CNN reported.
On Sina Weibo – a Chinese microblog with strict censorship guidelines – words with the slightest linkage to Ai are currently banned, including "release," "AWW" and "the fat guy." The phrase "love the future," which looks and sounds like his name in Mandarin, has also been blocked. …
Additionally, Internet users in China continue to have problems when searching his name via web browser or blogging their views about the terms of his release.
"Why can't I even type in "going home" now. I didn't really say anything sensitive. Sina do you have to be so scared?," @Agina1106 posted, in reference to censorship on Sina Weibo.
Fellow artist Anish Kapoor called for the international outcry regarding Ai's arrest to continue until all of his unfairly imprisoned colleagues were released. "We have to carry on making a noise. We must be strident: I call on every artist not to show in China," he said, according to the BBC.
IN PICTURES: Weiwei: Artist and provocateur