Accessibility links

China to Deport Chinese-Australian Artist Following Tiananmen Comments

  • VOA News

FILE - Chinese-born artist Guo Jian is pictured in front of one of his paintings on show in his Sydney studio.

FILE - Chinese-born artist Guo Jian is pictured in front of one of his paintings on show in his Sydney studio.

A Chinese-born Australian artist is being kicked out of China after he commented on the 25th anniversary of Beijing's violent crackdown in Tiananmen Square.

Guo Jian, himself a former Tiananmen Square protester, was detained last Sunday after a profile of him appeared in the Financial Times newspaper.

Australian officials said Friday they were told by Chinese authorities Guo was detained on a "visa-related matter." They said he would be held for 15 days and then deported.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei confirmed the planned deportation.

"On June 1, Australian Guo Jian committed fraud to obtain a temporary residence permit and was discovered by the Beijing police. Beijing police acted immediately in accordance with the law. Beijing police also notified the Australian Embassy in China."

The 52-year-old Guo is one of dozens of activists rounded up in the weeks before Wednesday's sensitive 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Human rights lawyer Shang Baojun told VOA's Mandarin service that at least three dissidents have been set free by police in Beijing.

Xu Youyu, Hu Shigen and Liu Di had been detained last month after attending a private seminar about the Tiananmen Square crackdown. Family members for all three have confirmed their release and said they have returned home safely.

Dozens of dissidents were detained or put under virtual house arrest in the weeks leading up to the Tiananmen anniversary. Most appear to still be in custody or confined to their homes.

China annually detains dissidents ahead of the June 4 anniversary to prevent them from speaking out on the subject. Most are usually released in the weeks after the anniversary passes.

Hundreds, or even thousands, of people died on June 3-4, 1989, when troops broke up the student-led pro-democracy protests.

China's government has never given a death toll or an official statement of what happened. Beijing defends its actions as necessary to preserve stability.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Mandarin service.

Show comments