Britain and Germany Urge China to Free Ai Weiwei
There is growing international pressure by foreign governments that arrested artist-activist Ai Weiwei be released. From Reuters:
“I call on the Chinese government to urgently clarify Ai’s situation and wellbeing, and hope he will be released immediately,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement.
Hague added that human rights applied under the rule of law were “essential prerequisites” to China’s long-term prosperity and stability.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he had learned of Ai’s detention “with great concern” and urged China to free him at once and provide an explanation of the incident.
Apparently the German Foreign Minister so concerned that he summoned the Chinese ambassador for a meeting regarding Ai Weiwei’s arrest:
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle summoned Chinese ambassador Wu Hongbo to discuss the detention of Ai Weiwei, an artist who has close links with Germany and planned to open a studio in the capital.
“We are very worried about the continuing detention of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei,” Westerwelle, who is also vice chancellor, said today in a statement on the Foreign Ministry’s website. The ambassador was called in “to ensure that our clear and unambiguous message reaches the Chinese government.”