According to Xinhua News Agency in China, Ai Weiwei has been released on bail due to “good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from.”
Although this does not mean he is completely free, it is a good step forward in this fiasco. Of course, him and many others artists are still at risk of being arrested for expressing their opinions and beliefs inside China.
In the event Ai or others do get arrested, the China Blocker will be reactivated to support whomever is arrested.
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Ai is out (22/6) but no one should kid themselves that his release represents any softening of the Chinese approach towards dissent. Beijing remains as hardline as ever on freedom of expression and, if anything, it’s getting harder, not softer. If you’ve any doubt I suggest you read the excellent and hugely entertaining book ‘Limp Pigs and the Five-Ring Circus’ by Mark Newham, a British journalist who penetrated to the heart of China’s propaganda machine and survived to tell a previously untold tale. Highly recommended to anyone who cares about such things. China changing? Pah.
[…] Ai Weiwei Released!23 June 2011 – Ai Weiwei Ã¤r slÃ¤ppt frÃ¥n finkan och ska stÃ¤lla ut pÃ¥ Magasin 5 i Sthlm med sin fÃ¶rsta svenska solo nÃ¥gonsin. Oh happy days! […]
Yes, blocking Chinese websites is a fucking splendid idea. Let’s protest by actually HELPING the government by giving Chinese artists LESS exposure.