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China Says Artist Ai Weiwei Freed On Bail


Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, detained since April, has been released on bail, state media said, citing Beijing police.

It said the artist had been freed "because of his good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from." Reports say he confessed to tax evasion.

Ai was detained at Beijing airport on April 3.

Police told state media last month that a company Ai controlled, The Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., had evaded a "huge amount" of taxes and destroyed accounting documents. .

Ai's sister said she had no information yet about his release.

"There are these rumors that he has been let out on bail, but we haven't heard anything yet," she said. "We haven't heard from Lu Qing (Ai Weiwei's wife), but Ai Weiwei is not home yet," Gao Ge told Reuters by telephone.

Ai is a vocal critic of the Chinese government and his arrest came amid a crackdown on dissent and prompted criticism from many Western nations, including the United States and the European Union.

compiled from agency reports
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