Ai Wei Wei released on bail

22nd June 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been released on bail by the Chinese authorities. The artist's sister has confirmed earlier reports in the Chinese state media. Mr Ai was arrested in early April on suspicion of "economic crimes". Critics believe Beijing wants to silence the critical artist.

State press agency Xinhua says Ai was released because of his "good attitude" and because he confessed to tax dodging. The 53-year-old artist is also believed to suffer from an undisclosed chronic illness. His sister says his health is "OK".

There was international indignation at the arrest of the artist, which led to condemnation from the United States and European Union. Ai Wei Wei is best known for his part in designing the Olympic stadium in Beijing, called the Bird's Nest.

Ai was critical about the Chinese censorship of the internet referred to as the Great Chinese Firewall. The Chinese authorities have arrested a number of dissidents since the beginning of the year as they fear protests breaking out following the uprisings in the Arab World.

An exhibition of Ai Wei Wei's letters criticising the authorities for lax building regulations is about to go on show at the Dutch Architecture Institute NAi in Rotterdam. In the province of Sichuan, 5000 children died in schools, which were so badly built due to corruption they collapsed likes houses of cards during the 2008 earthquake writes


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

0 Comments To This Article