Deng Chuanbin (right). Photo: Chinese Human Rights Defenders/Twitter.
The European Film Academy, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) issued a statement 20 February 2020 calling for the immediate release of Chinese filmmaker Deng Chuanbin (also known as Huang Huang).
“[We] ask for the immediate and unconditional release of Huang Huang and call on festivals around the world, cinemas and all artists to do the same,” the statement underlines.
Huang, an independent documentary filmmaker living in Sichuan Province, was arrested by Chinese authorities on 17 May 2019. That morning, Huang had tweeted a Chinese political meme, which referenced the Tiananmen Square protests that took place on 4 June 1989.
He has collaborated with a variety of human rights defenders in his work, which has often touched on human rights concerns. Prior to his current detention, Huang had faced intimidation from Chinese authorities, including in 2015, when he was prevented from travelling to Geneva to attend a human rights seminar.
“We strongly condemn the arrest of fellow filmmaker Huang Huang, for allegedly tweeting a photo which the authorities found controversial,” remarked EFA Chairman Mike Downey.
“His detention is a flagrant betrayal of his human rights and his basic freedom of expression. This crackdown on artists like Huang is in no way acceptable and we call on the relevant authorities to release him immediately. The wide ranging and extreme steps taken by the Chinese government to silence artistic voices attempting to commemorate the Tiananmen Square Protest and in this case, referencing a meme to a historical date, goes way beyond the limits of any respect for human rights whatsoever.”