Ai Weiwei, 53, one of China's most prominent avant-garde artists and human rights activists, poses for a portrait in his Beijing studio on April 25, 2009. Although a show of his art has been “indefinitely postponed” in the People’s Republic of China, a public art piece by Ai, “Circle of Animals/ Zodiac Heads,” is on view at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York from May 2 to July 15.
Chinese authorities have cracked down on dissent in hopes of preventing a popular uprising in China like those that have erupted in the Middle East. Sweeping arrests of prominent dissidents have been part of the campaign and have earned the Chinese government widespread internal and international criticism. Who are some of these activists being put behind bars?
Li Chengpeng belongs to a new breed of Chinese authors who have to come to prominence in the era of the Internet. His novel brought social criticism, widely available online, to a broad print audience – uncharted waters in China's censorship regime.
The famous Chinese artist and political dissident Ai Weiwei hasn’t been heard from since his arrest Sunday by Chinese authorities. The disappearance of Mr. Ai, who uses his art to express political dissent, is just one of a slew of recent arrests by the Chinese government in what seems to be a bid to prevent protests inspired by the Middle East uprisings to China. Ai has long been at odds with the Chinese government, and this isn’t the first confrontation. What has made Ai a marked man in China?
A protester holds a placard depicting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as Adolf Hitler in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Jan. 31.
Ai Weiwei, one of China's best-known artists who has become an increasingly vocal critic of the Chinese government, was about to leave for his Shanghai studio.
Tan Zuoren, who had investigated school collapses that killed thousands of children in China’s massive 2008 earthquake, was sentenced to five years.