Ai Weiwei posted this picture on Instagram on Wednesday after the Chinese authorities returned his passport.
Ai Weiwei, the Chinese art-provocateur whose work so very consistently pisses off the Chinese government, says he was given back his passport this week after being barred from traveling abroad since he was detained in 2011 in Beijing.
“Today, I received a passport,” he told the world via Twitter and Instagram, attaching a selfie with the document.
From the New York Times:
Mr. Ai, who was a design consultant on the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing and exhibited his sculptural installation “Sunflower Seeds” at the Tate Modern in London, was detained in 2011 while trying to fly to Hong Kong from Beijing. He was held and interrogated for 81 days and later prosecuted on a charge of tax evasion. A court ruled against him and said his studio owed $2.4 million in penalties and back taxes.
He has said the case against him was retaliation for his political activism, including his memorializing the thousands of children who died in schools that collapsed during a 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province.
Ai Weiwei, Chinese Artist and Provocateur, Is Given Back His Passport [nytimes]
Chinese artist and photographer Ju Duoqi
works with vegetables. She was born in Chongqing in 1973, and studied at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. Shown here, selections from her 2010 series, “The Fantasies of Chinese Cabbage
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Ethnic Tibetans throughout Tibet this week held some of the largest demonstrations against Chinese rule in four years. Chinese forces responded by shooting protesters. Up to 5 are said to have been killed and more than 30 wounded, according to Tibetan advocacy groups.
On January 9, a 42-year-old monk became the latest in a continuing string of desperate protesters who burned themselves alive to protest Chinese military rule and cultural repression.
A New York Times report gathered accounts from a number of human rights groups. NPR's Morning Edition today aired an extensive report on the worsening human rights crisis in Tibet (MP3 link).
Details are hard to confirm, as foreign press access to the areas involved is all but impossible. Free Tibet has more, and Radio Free Asia has compiled various reports.
Dr. Lobsang Sangay of the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, India, issued a statement on the conflict, published in video on YouTube (and embedded above).
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