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Thursday, 7 April 2011 - Strasbourg OJ edition

The case of Ai Weiwei in China

  Cristian Dan Preda, author.(RO) Mr President, more than a year ago, we spoke in this Chamber about Liu Xiaobo being sentenced to prison. Here we are now discussing a second signatory of Charter 08 who has been detained by the Chinese authorities.

As has already been said, Ai Weiwei is not only a very famous artist, but also one of the biggest critics of the Communist regime. He was arrested on Sunday and there is no prospect of his release. Indeed, in addition to this, we saw today that the Chinese authorities maintained that his arrest was an economic and not a political matter, which is blatantly a barefaced lie.

As is well known, Ai Weiwei was prevented from attending the Nobel Prize award ceremony. His arrest is part of a wider trend in cracking down on human rights activists. We have included in our resolution a whole list of people whom, I believe, Lady Ashton must mention whenever she has the opportunity. I believe that we need to reassess our dialogue on human rights more generally.

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