Artist gets arrested for giving Chinese president a moustache

Shanghai artist Dai Jianyong has been detained after publishing a humorous image of Chinese President Xi Jinping sporting a moustache, according to Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD).

Dai is a photographer known for creating a series of images of what he calls a 'chrysanthemum face' -- the flower is a slang term in Chinese for anus.

He has published online images of suitcases, t-shirts and coke cans, bearing a 'photoshopped' image of Xi, where the president appears with a 'chrysanthemum face' and a strange moustache, Efe news agency reported.

The facial hair imposed on Xi's image is not identical to the moustache sported by Hitler, but many web users said it reminded them of the Nazi dictator.

Several Chinese activists critical of the government have begun to ironically refer to their president as "Xitele" -- a phonetic translation of Hitler beginning with the president's surname "Xi".

Dai has been charged with "creating a disturbance" - an accusation which can lead to up to five years in prison.

Chinese authorities in recent years have come down hard on artists openly criticising political leaders.

However, it has been more tolerant towards criticism of social inequalities and censorship.

Since Xi took over the reins of government, observers, including CHRD, have claimed freedom of artistic expression is more restricted than during the term of his predecessor Hu Jintao.

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