Status: In Prison
Um artista, mas o que é pior mesmo é que ele um ativista dos direitos humanos, um ser realmene perigoso na visão de governos, como é o meu caso. Somos gente perigosa. No caso de Chen ele ousou relembrar o massacre da Praça Celestial, é naquele dia em que jovens chineses enfrentaram tanques de guerra. Jovens perigosos que ousavam dizer que não temiam a soldadesca governamental. Chen não quer esquecer o incidente, e nem eu o quero poristo estou aqui protestando. Além de estar preso por estas ações perigosas e por sua ideias de alto risco, pior, esteve mantido em algemas, o habitual sadismo que ocorre nas prisões onde seres humanos já indefesos, rodeados de policiais armados, sem a menor chance de se evadir, ainda são postos sob algemas e, em alguns casos ficam algemados de pés e mãos. Sadismo puro! Além de estar preso foi torturado, outra forma sádica de tratar pessoas indefesas sob a guarda do Estado. Eu não posso ficar calado.
Chen Yunfei is a performance artist who works at the intersection of human rights activism and art. His art is overtly political, promoting the Chinese pro-democracy movement and addressing human rights abuses in China and the legacy of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
On March 25, 2015, Chen was detained after visiting Wu Guofeng’s grave site with a group of activists and Wu’s family members in remembrance of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Wu was an amateur photographer and university student who was ultimately stabbed to death with a bayonet by a Chinese soldier during the Tiananmen Square Massacre. In late April of that year, police formally charged Chen with “incitement to subvert state power” and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”—charges typically brought against dissidents. Chen was held in detention without trial for over two years. Chen’s one-day trial finally occurred on March 31, 2017, after which he was sentenced to a four-year prison term. While in detention, Chen has suffered multiple human rights violations, including being forced to wear shackles for extended periods of time and torture. Chen’s attorney, Sui Muqing, has been detained illegally twice after visiting his client.
Freedom of Expression in China
Chen’s arrest, detainment, and treatment in prison are indicative of the ongoing repression of critics of the Communist Party in China. Since President Xi Jinping took office in early 2013, he has overseen an extensive crackdown on free speech, which has included punishing individual Chinese writers, journalists, and creative artists who have been censored, harassed, imprisoned, and even disappeared after speaking out about sensitive topics such as the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, corruption, and the lack of democratic reform.
Works by Chen Yunfei
In one work, Chen created a farm at his residence called the “Chen Work Farm” and positioned himself as “Chen Prisoner Yunfei.” This work commented both on Chinese penal farms and Chen’s oppression by the police. Another work was a funeral for his passport and permit for traveling to Hong Kong and Macao following the restriction of Chen’s travel due to his outspoken performance art.