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China Criticizes German Media Over Detained Artist

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 10, 2011

Beijing - China on Tuesday criticized German media reports on the detention of dissident artist Ai Weiwei, saying they failed to respect China's 'judicial sovereignty.'

'This case is still under investigation. The outside world should not comment on it,' Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said of Ai's detention.

'No one has the privilege of transcending the law or avoiding the application of the law just because he is appreciated by someone in the West,' Jiang said.

'We hope German media can look at this issue objectively, respect China's judicial sovereignty and respect China's judicial departments' independent handling of this case,' she said.

The Chinese government has given little information about Ai since his arrest on April 3, issuing statements saying only that he was under investigation for 'economic crimes.'

The artist's arrest came amid a crackdown on dissidents and prompted criticism from most Western nations, including the United States and Germany.

US President Barack Obama raised concerns over the recent crackdown during a meeting with Chinese officials in Washington on Monday.

Obama also 'underscored his support for the universal rights of freedom of expression and worship, and of access to information and political participation', a US official said.

China routinely rejects such comments as 'interference' in its affairs.

Rights groups this week highlighted the case of Hada, a Mongolian human rights activist who has apparently been held under house arrest since his release in December after spending 15 years in prison.

Hada began a hunger strike last week to protest the detentions of himself, his wife and his son, the US-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre said.

Like many Mongolians, Hada, 55, uses a single name.

Hada's son, Uiles, was charged with selling drugs while his wife, Xinna, was accused of running an illegal business, the Information Centre said.



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