Hua Yong: Detained Chinese artist's emotional last video


Hua Yong sends his young daughter a video greeting on her birthdayImage copyright
@HuaYong798

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“Once the apartment door is open, I’ll have to leave with them [police]. Daddy will use this last moment to sing you a song,” Hua Yong tells his daughter in the video, where he verges on tears

Concerns are mounting for a Chinese artist who has been taken into police custody after posting videos and messages critical of the Communist Party.

Hua Yong’s last act was to record a video for his two-year-old daughter because he would not be with her on her next birthday.

The video has now been widely shared on the internet.

It was a desperate final message from the painter, well-known in Beijing.

As he speaks, Chinese police attempt to break down his door to take him away.

His alleged crime: filming protests against forced evictions from some of Beijing’s poorest neighbours, part of an unpopular city remodelling plan.

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“Everything I did was for you,” he tells his daughter in the video, “so you wouldn’t have to suffer like your father and grandfather’s generations. I am willing to use my life to defend the rights of citizens to speak freely, for the rights of citizens to be people.”

Hua Yong’s videos documenting the evictions, and online messages calling for individual rights, led to police threats.

Image copyright
Reuters

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Hua Yong documented forced evictions and demolitions in poor neighbourhoods

Fearing arrest, he fled the capital but was tracked down by the authorities, who have little tolerance for political activism.

As officers raided the building in which he was hiding, Hua Yong made and posted his last emotional video – urging his child to learn English with her Mum.

One day, he said, he would take her around the world. So far, the video has been viewed by tens of thousands of people.


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