Chinese release outspoken activist
Published 23/06/2011 | 05:00
AI WeiWei, the Chinese artist and activist, has been released after 81 days in detention, days before a high-profile visit of China's premier to London this weekend.
Mr Ai's detention, which came after several years of outspoken criticism of China's ruling Communist Party, had drawn condemnation from world leaders and protests from many artists, including sculptor Anish Kapoor and novelist Salman Rushdie.
A statement, reported by China's state-controlled media, said that police had agreed to release Mr Ai after he had confessed to "economic crimes" and agreed to pay back an unspecified amount of taxes.
The release spares David Cameron from addressing one of the most high-profile Chinese human rights abuse cases of recent years during Wen Jiabao's visit. Under Mr Ai's bail conditions, he is not allowed to take part in any interviews. (© Daily Telegraph, London)