Five Famous Jailed Dissidents in China: AI Weiwei to Liu Xiaobo

By Zirulnick, Ariel | The Christian Science Monitor, April 12, 2011 | Go to article overview

Five Famous Jailed Dissidents in China: AI Weiwei to Liu Xiaobo


Zirulnick, Ariel, The Christian Science Monitor


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?

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?

#5 Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist, is internationally renowned for his artwork and known worldwide for his public criticism of the Chinese government. He was arrested on April 3 by Chinese authorities, and hasn't been heard from since. Mr. Ai was one of the designers of the Bird's Nest stadium of Beijing Olympics fame and has exhibited his artwork, often laden with political messages, around the world.

One of his most iconic work is the collection of children's backpacks he put on display in Munich following the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. The backpacks were arranged to spell out "She lived happily for seven years in the world," a quote from a mother whose child died when her school collapsed during the earthquake. He also helped lead an investigation into the collapses of the government- built schools in which thousands of children died, to China's chagrin.

RELATED - Ai Weiwi: Five reasons he makes Chinese authorities nervous

#4 Liu Xiaobo

Liu Xiaobo, the winner of the 2010 Nobel peace prize, is China's most high profile dissident. He is best-known for his participation in the Tiananmen Square protests and for penning Charter 08, a document released in December 2008 calling for political change in China. The document demanded an end to one-party authoritarian rule and a variety of civil and human rights and was signed by thousands of Chinese citizens. …

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