[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Protest in Hong Kong over Ai Weiwei detention
One person held after supporters of the mainland Chinese artist and activist push through police barricades.
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2011 18:45
Ai  was placed under house arrest in November 2010 when the state also said it planned to demolish his studio [Reuters]

Supporters of the detained Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, have scuffled with the police in Hong Kong, with at least one person being detained after protesters pushed through police barricades.

Around 150 protesters held banners and pictures of Ai on Sunday, and carried a large statue representing democracy.

Ai disappeared into police custody two weeks ago at Beijing's international airport. China's foreign ministry has said that the prominent artist was being investigated for unspecified "economic crimes".

Ai has juggled an international art career with campaigns against government censorship and political restrictions, often using the internet.

He also has a sense of humour: according to a profile of Ai in the New Yorker magazine, the artist is prone to calling the police and reporting the plainclothes state security agents who monitor his movements, describing the result as an "absurdist novel gone bad".

Ai's family says the arrest is an attempt to silence his outspoken activism.

A lawyer who had been advising Ai and his family has been unreachable since Thursday, prompting fears he may also have been detained.

The Hong Kong demonstrations were part of a series of protests planned outside Chinese diplomatic compounds around the world.

A small group of activists in Sydney, Australia, held a peaceful sit-in outside the Chinese consulates.

Similar demonstrations in London, Paris and Athens failed to draw more than a handful of protesters.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
join our mailing list