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China: Artist arrested, released on bail after fleeing Beijing

12 January 2018
Artist Hua Yong was forced to flee Beijing after police were on the way to arrest him over videos he shared on social media about migrant worker evictions.
Photo: Screenshot from one of Hua Yong’s videos on YouTube

 

UPDATE: Chinese artist Hua Yong was arrested on 15 December 2017 on charges of “gathering a crowd to cause a disturbance to traffic order” in Tianjin in northeastern part of the country. He was released on bail three days later on 18 December and may still face criminal charges as his case continues to be investigated by police, reported BBC and Human Rights Watch.

Further, city authorities have issued an eviction notice for the artist who resides in Beijing’s Songzhuang Artists’ Village, reported Radio Free Asia on 1 January 2018.

In early December 2017, Chinese artist Hua Yong was forced to flee Beijing after police were on the way to arrest him over videos he filmed and shared on social media about the eviction of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from the city and the tearing down of multiple apartment buildings, as well as videos of protests by the migrants, reported The New York Times.

The artist has posted videos saying that he has been able to move from one safe city to another with the help of friends.

In late October 2017, authorities attempted to evict Yong from his home in Beijing’s Songzhuang Artists’ Village by breaking into home and threatening him, reported Radio Free Asia.

The artist said “thugs” dragged him out of his home in the early morning of 28 October and took him to a location 50 kilometers away and told him he needed to leave his home within the next two months. He believes the thugs were hired by local and state police.

At the time, Yong was under house arrest for two weeks during the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

In 2012, Yong was sent to a labour camp for a piece of performance art he performed near Tiananmen Square.

This article, earlier titled China: Artist forced to flee Beijing, was originally posted on 19 December 2017 and updated on 12 January 2018. 

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