Swedish Climate activist Greta Thunberg
Swedish Climate activist Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg slams China for arresting 17-year-old climate activist in Shanghai

ANI | Updated: Sep 29, 2020 23:54 IST

Beijing [China], September 29 (ANI): Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg hit out at China for arresting a 17-year-old climate activist in Shanghai, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday.
Thunberg tweeted, "Activism is not a crime. Peacefully standing up for the future survival of the living planet should never be illegal. Solidarity and gratitude to our friends in China, Uganda, Russia and everywhere else #FridaysForFuture activists are being arrested."
According to the South China Morning Post, Ou Hongyi, also known as China's "first climate striker" was detained on Friday at the Shanghai's main shopping district.
The 17-year old in an Instagram post posted on Sunday said that she and three other protesters were detained after three hours of silent protests. "Billions of people will die, and children will die while parents lose their jobs. Nonviolent civil disobedience climate movement is the only candle in the darkness to give us the slightest hope," she said.
Ou said that she was stopped in Nanjing Road and was taken to a nearby police station and was released hours later. She posted a picture on Twitter on Sunday of a room that looked like an interrogation room.
"We just went on the global climate strike day, with four people, advocates, on Nanjing Road which is a very symbolic place in Shanghai, and we are just arrested and interrogated for about two hours and I just came out of the police station," she said in a video after her release, as reported by South China Morning Post.
In a Twitter post, she said that she was forced to write a "self-criticism letter", a forced admission of guilt used by Chinese police to intimidate the activists.

"Government is the only institution that has the ability to protect its people but it failed," she wrote, as quoted by the South China Morning Post.
Just like Thunberg, Ou also skipped classes for a week last year to protest outside government buildings in her hometown of Guilin.
Guangxi's Public Security Bureau has also interrogated her and her protests were also cut short by the police. However, the state-funded organisations and NGOs have refused to allow the 17-year-old at events.
Ou's protest comes two days after Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged at the United Nations General Assembly that China would achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.
Andreas Fulda, an associate professor at the University of Nottingham's school of politics and international relations in the UK said that the campaigns for the environment have been hard to run since Xi came to power.
"During the Hu and Wen era it was still possible for environmental NGOs to run campaigns, such as against wasteful energy consumption or reckless dam building in southern China," Fulda said and added, "Since Xi has come to power, the available space for Chinese civil society has shrunk dramatically."
"Such transnational solidarity with what could be termed 'unofficial China' is of great importance. Chinese citizens who are willing to speak truth to power should be supported by the international community," he added. (ANI)