By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, November 3: A Chinese activist named Kwon Pyong has been arrested by the authorities in his hometown in Yanji city of Jilin Province for posting a picture of him wearing a t-shirt with anti-Xi Jinping wordings on September 30.
His arrest came after he posted a picture outside a government building wearing a T short with ‘Xitler’ on it, which is a mix of Xi and Hitler.
The 28-year old, who is ethnically Korean, is currently kept in police custody.
According to his US-based friend Gu Yi, Kwon had planned to wear the t-shirt openly outside on October 1 at the National Day of the People's Republic of China despite knowing that he was being followed since September 8.
“He told me on September 30 that he planned to walk around in that T-shirt,” Gu said, adding that he received a message the same day from Kwon saying he ‘ran into trouble’.
Gu also confirmed that he was asked not to contact him since the Yanji municipal police department's criminal investigations department had arrested him for his dissent.
Graduate of Iowa State University, the activist was active in raising his voice on issues like China’s crackdown on lawyers, the Tiananmen massacre, Tibet, Hong Kong independence, human rights. He even took part in 2014 Occupy movement in Hong Kong.
Chicago-based Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars (IFCSS) condemned Kwon’s arrest saying, “This is a shameful display of state terrorism and blatant repression of freedom of speech, as well as a serious violation of [his] rights by the authorities.”
The pro-democracy NGO also appealed for his immediate and unconditional release.