Artist Ai Weiwei Free After Confessing to Tax Evasion Says Chinese Official Media

0
366

BEIJING (AP).- Renowned artist Ai Weiwei, among the most prominent activists detained in China’s sweeping recent crackdown on dissent, was released on bail Wednesday after confessing to tax evasion, official media said. Ai’s release after nearly three months’ detention was not directly confirmed by him or his immediate family. Calls to Ai’s mobile phone rang unanswered, however a question sent to him by text message received a two-line reply: “Yes. Free.” The Xinhua News Agency said late Wednesday that Ai’s poor health was also a factor in his release. The brief report said Ai had shown a “good attitude in confessing his crimes” and repeatedly pledged to pay taxes he owed. Xinhua repeated earlier allegations in state media that a company linked to Ai, Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., had evaded a “huge amount” of taxes and intentionally destroyed accounting documents. Formal charges against him have never been announced, and the state media report did not mention any pend