Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

WEB NEWS

NSA targets 'Tor' network users

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users call for peace in Gaza

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French government hopes to collect €1.8bn from foreign accounts

Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • The centenary of Austria-Hungary’s calamitous last hurrah

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

  • France calls on its nationals to leave Libya as violence escalates

    Read more

  • Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Muslims prepare for Eid al-Fitr festival

    Read more

  • ‘Irresponsible’ American dad tries to scale Mont Blanc with children

    Read more

  • Ukraine fighting prevents observers from accessing MH17 crash site

    Read more

  • In pictures: Crowds flock to enjoy the Tour de France show

    Read more

  • Netanyahu says Hamas 'violating its own ceasefire'

    Read more

  • Video: At the scene of the Air Algérie crash in Mali

    Read more

  • Costa Concordia arrives in port of Genoa to be scrapped

    Read more

  • In pictures: Youths clash with police at banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Russia lashes out at new EU sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Bodies of all Air Algérie crash victims to be brought to France

    Read more

  • Syrian army and ISIS both claim advances

    Read more

  • Briton kidnapped in Yemen freed after five months

    Read more

  • New round of Gaza ceasefire talks takes place in Paris

    Read more

Asia-pacific

China releases dissident artist Ai Weiwei on bail

Video by Aurore Cloe DUPUIS

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-06-22

Chinese authorities have released dissident artist Ai Weiwei on bail after he confessed to tax evasion, the state-run Xinhua news agency said Wednesday. His three-month detention had sparked international condemnation.

 

AP - Renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, among the most prominent activists detained in China’s sweeping recent crackdown, was released on bail Wednesday after state media said he confessed to tax evasion, accusations his family has denied.
 
Ai said his health was fine as he thanked reporters for their support outside his studio late Wednesday. But he said under the conditions of his release he was not able to say more.
 
Hundreds of Chinese lawyers, activists, and other intellectuals have disappeared or been questioned or detained by authorities in the ongoing clampdown, and those released have almost universally kept silent, possibly fearing repercussions.
 
The three-paragraph Xinhua News Agency report late Wednesday said Ai was released because of his poor health and because he had shown a “good attitude in confessing his crimes” and repeatedly pledged to pay taxes he owed.
 
Xinhua repeated earlier allegations in state media that a company linked to Ai, Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., had evaded a “huge amount” of taxes and intentionally destroyed accounting documents.
 
Formal charges against him have never been announced, and the state media report did not mention any pending charges or trial.
 
Ai’s family and supporters have previously dismissed the tax evasion accusations, and Lu said the company in question is registered and belongs to her, not him. The company handles the business aspects of Ai’s art career.
 
Ai is among China’s most internationally known artists and had a hand in designing Beijing’s iconic Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium before souring on the event. His fame has soared in recent years, both for his groundbreaking art and his bold irreverence toward authority.
 
Ai’s detention at Beijing’s airport on April 3 made him the most famous victim of a sweeping crackdown against dissent in China that began in February when online calls for protests similar to those in the Middle East and North Africa began to circulate.
 
Ai had been keeping an informal tally of the detentions on Twitter.
 
Ai was held under a form of detention known as residential surveillance somewhere outside Beijing. Lu, his wife, was permitted one brief, monitored meeting in which she said he seemed well cared for and was not being held in a formal jail.
 
Ai suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes. He told Lu during her May visit that he was taking long walks everyday, had his blood pressure checked seven times a day, and was eating and sleeping well.
 
Ai’s detention prompted an international outcry among artists, politicians and human rights activists, and Western leaders called it a sign of China’s deteriorating human rights situation. His family and supporters said he was being punished for speaking out about the Communist leadership and social problems.
 
Ai has also spoken critically about a number of national scandals, including the deaths of students in shoddily built schools that collapsed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, children killed or sickened by tainted infant formula and a deadly high-rise fire in Shanghai that killed 58 and was blamed on negligent workers and corrupt inspectors.
 

 

Date created : 2011-06-22

  • ART

    Ai Weiwei: Artist, architect and outspoken social critic

    Read more

  • CHINA

    'No information' on whereabouts of Chinese artist Weiwei

    Read more

  • CHINA

    Outspoken artist Weiwei detained by authorities, staff say

    Read more

COMMENT(S)