Artist Ai Weiwei Released from Detainment, Says Media Ban a Condition of His Release


Clearly the biggest news of the week, after just over three months spent detained by Chinese authorities for alleged financial crimes, artist Ai Weiwei was finally released late last night in Beijing. Weiwei’s detainment had quickly become a hot button issue worldwide, with a countless supply of other countries, protestors and supports, and museums across the world calling for his release, and most recently fellow high-profile artists boycotting planned exhibitions in China as a show of solidarity. However, while the press was waiting for him upon learning of his release, it doesn’t appear that Weiwei will be speaking about the experience anytime soon, given that an apparent media ban was a condition of his release. Here’s a bit from the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Ai said his health was fine and thanked reporters for their support as he returned to his studio late Wednesday with his mother and his wife, according to witnesses, but added that he wasn’t able to say more under the conditions of his bail.

“I can’t say much. I can say I’m out. I’m on bail. But I can’t say anything more under the conditions of my release,” he told The Wall Street Journal by telephone.

Asked how long the media ban was in place, he said: “One year, at least.”

However, given how frequently Weiwei seems to like to irk the Chinese authorities, hence this latest effort to silence him, who knows if he will actually keep quiet for the next year.