AI Weiwei forever bycicles

Ai Weiwei Released

State media outlet Xinhua announced Wednesday evening at 10:15 p.m. Beijing time that Ai Weiwei was released on bail following “his good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from”. The statement also suggested that he confessed to tax evasion and promised to pay all fines and back-taxes.

Since his detention 80 days ago on April 3rd, Chinese authorities have reportedly been building a case against Ai Weiwei and his studio, FAKE, for destruction of financial documents and tax evasion. Ai Weiwei returned to his studio-home in Caochangdi late at night where his family was waiting inside and an army of reporters waited outside.

NEVER SORRY director Alison Klayman spoke with Ai over the phone from New York. He is happy to be home and is spending time with his mother.

The timing of Ai’s release has left many to speculate that it was an effort to boost China’s image in advance of Wen Jiabao’s visit to Europe.

Four of Ai’s associates who also were detained on April 3rd remain in custody. These individuals include independent journalist Wen Tao, Ai’s accountant Hu Mingfen, Ai’s driver and cousin Zhang Jinsong and FAKE designer Liu Zhenggang. Like Ai, none have been formally charged.


originally reported 03/06/2011



About the author

I have a degree in Creative Writing and Journalism. I live in the UK and have life long interest in the juncture of arts, politics and individuals.

I have had my written and photographic work published in the UK, Hungary and Asia.