23 Jun '11, 12pm

China artist Ai Weiwei freed but confined to Beijing

BEIJING: Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is not permitted to leave Beijing "without permission", authorities said Thursday after his release from nearly three months of detention that triggered an international outcry. Human rights groups and Western officials welcomed Ai's unexpected release on bail, but voiced dismay over the conditions and urged Beijing to free other activists still in police custody. Ai was freed late Wednesday because of his "good attitude" in confessing to tax evasion, his willingness to repay taxes he owes, and on medical grounds, the government said. His detention -- which came during a major government crackdown on activists launched in February -- sparked furious criticism led by Western governments who repeatedly called for his immediate release. The release of the 54-year-old avant-garde artist comes just before Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao sets off Fri...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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