Ai Weiwei

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A police officer patrols as part of heavy security at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. (AFP/Mark Ralston)

The annual crackdown on commemorations of the June 4 anniversary of the brutal suppression of student-led demonstrations based in Tiananmen Square in 1989 Beijing is under way, according to Agence France-Presse. What's concerning is the number of writers and activists for whom "crackdown" is the new normal.

Chinese official Jia Qinglin, fifth from left, hands over keys to the China-built African Union headquarters to AU Chairman and Equatorial Guinea President Theodoro Obiang. (AFP/Tony Karumba)

China didn't make the cut for our 10 most censored countries. While the Chinese Communist Party's censorship apparatus is notorious, journalists and Internet users work hard to overcome the restrictions. Nations like Eritrea and North Korea lack that dynamism.

Ai Weiwei speaks to journalists at his home in Beijing after the government held him incommunicado for nearly three months. (AP/Ng Han Guan)

Internet users posed ever-bigger challenges to Beijing's media controls, boosting debate on public safety and censorship. But ahead of a 2012 leadership transition, the Chinese Communist Party looks likely to fiercely suppress dissent. By Madeline Earp

It's not clear whether Beijing will require licensing of social media sites or users to register under their real names. (Reuters)

In the latest sign of increasing pressure on Chinese companies to tighten control of the Internet, Chinese authorities convened an unusual seminar in Beijing for senior executives of 39 major enterprises involved in Internet services, technology and telecommunications.

New York, August 11, 2011--Authorities should cease the residential surveillance of writer Ran Yunfei and allow him to communicate freely following his release from jail this week, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Ran has been forbidden from speaking publicly, according to The Associated Press.

New York, June 23, 2011--Authorities in Shandong should overturn a second prison sentence handed down to freelance journalist Qi Chonghuai just days before the end of his term, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Two of three Chinese journalists scheduled for release this month are out of jail. Artist Ai Weiwei was unexpectedly freed from extrajudicial detention on Wednesday

New York, June 22, 2011--Artist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei's release from prison leaves questions unanswered about his illegal detention and other missing activists and journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The whereabouts of Ai's associate, freelance journalist Wen Tao, missing since April 3 and presumed detained, is still unknown.

New York, May 23, 2011--The recent sidelining of an outspoken journalist in Guangzhou and the disappearance on Friday of a Beijing lawyer and activist known for his blog writings are the latest signs of China's deteriorating press freedom, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

New York, May 13, 2011--Amid a harsh media crackdown, Chinese authorities censored discussion of the May 12, 2008, Sichuan earthquake anniversary that referenced independent investigations into the damage, according to international news reports. CPJ interviewed filmmaker Alison Klayman about activists imprisoned for documenting official negligence which contributed to the destruction, including detained artist Ai Weiwei, to mark the anniversary. 

A still from the film of Ai Weiwei, taken in Jingdezhen, China, in 2010. (Courtesy Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry)

Three years after a devastating earthquake hit Sichuan province in May 2008, CPJ spoke to documentary filmmaker Alison Klayman. The director is working on the upcoming "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry," about the recently detained Chinese artist who documented the aftermath of the earthquake and published the names of children killed in the collapse of frail school buildings. 

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