China: Rock musician arrested in airport



Rock musician arrested in airport

The Chinese rock musician Zuoxiao Zuzhou was detained for over 12 hours by police in Shanghai’s airport, a Hong Kong-based rights group said on 28 April 2011.

Zuoxiao Zuzhou (real name: Wu Hongjin) had publicly expressed his support for the detained artist and rights campaigner Ai Weiwei during a rock concert at the 2011 Modern Sky Folk& Poetry Festival in Zhouzhuang in eastern China. Zuoxiao Zuzhou had displayed the words ‘Free Ai Weiwei’ on a large screen, the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said in a statement.

Friend of detained artist
Ai Weiwei was detained by Chinese authorities at Beijing airport on 3 April 2011, and no one has been able to contact him since. Chinese officials say the 53-year-old artist is under investigation for economic crimes, but police have not notified his family of his detention and his family believe he has been targeted for his political and social activism. Dozens of rights artists, activists and lawyers have been detained or lost contact with friends and relatives since February 2011, when fears of contagion from Middle East and North Africa uprisings triggered a crackdown by China’s domestic security apparatus, reported Reuters.

Ai Weiwei’s friend Wen Tao, his driver and cousin Zhang Jinsong, his accountant Hu Mingfen, and colleague Liu Zhenggang also remain missing.

Zuoxiao Zuzhou is a close friend of Ai Weiwei who had been spearheading a spate of high-profile campaigns against government censorship and political restrictions before he was detained.

Zuoxiao Zuzhou was halted at the airport together with his wife, Xiao Li.

An article by Zuoxiao Zuzhou with the headline “Who doesn’t love Ai Weiwei” had been published in various media including Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper in which he described Ai Weiwei as an admirable artist and a rights defender for ordinary people.

Zuoxiao Zuzhou

Click to read more about China on

UPDATE   Background story

Norient – 4 May 2011:

‘Asima, her Pimp and a Melancholic Boss’

“Although Zuxiao Zuzhou is by no means the most mainstream and best-selling Chinese singer, his music is widely known and moreover is part of larger social and cultural developments that respond not only to political freedom (and the lack thereof), but also, and perhaps even primarily, to changes in desires, inter-human relations and world views that are induced by China’s economic transformation, urbanization and modernization.”


Reuters – 28 April 2011:

‘Chinese musician detained after backing Ai Weiwei -rights group’

Zuoxiao Zuzhou’s official home page:

More information

Google News – continuously updated:

Search: ‘Zuoxiao’ + ‘Zuzhou’

Go to top
Related articles on China