`Concerned` US asks China to free detained activists

The United States has expressed "deep concern" over the detention of one of China`s eminent human rights lawyers ahead of the 25th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown and asked Beijing to release him.

PTI| Last Updated: May 08, 2014, 07:03 AM IST

Washington: The United States has expressed "deep concern" over the detention of one of China`s eminent human rights lawyers ahead of the 25th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown and asked Beijing to release him.

"United States is deeply concerned over reports that rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang and other activists have been detained following their participation in a meeting to peacefully mark the upcoming June 4th anniversary of the violent suppression of demonstrations in and around Beijing`s Tiananmen Square," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki yesterday said.

"We call on Chinese authorities to release these individuals immediately, remove restrictions on their freedom of movement, and guarantee them the protections and freedoms to which they are entitled under China?s international human rights commitments," she added.

Authorities routinely detain critics of the Communist Party ahead of key events in China.

Pu Zhiqiang, a well-known rights lawyer, and several others were reportedly detained on Tuesday in an apparent bid to deter activists from marking the anniversary of the military suppression of pro-democracy protesters on June 4.