Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei: Free in Body, Not Voice

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BEIJING (AP).- Outspoken artist and government critic Ai Weiwei talked about giving himself a haircut Thursday but said little else in his first day out of detention, living under a gag order that underscores concerns about China’s growing use of extralegal methods to muzzle dissent. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Ai was released from nearly three months of detention late Wednesday after confessing to tax evasion and pledging to repay the money owed. His family denies the allegations and activists have denounced them as a false premise for detaining an artist who spoke out against the authoritarian government and its repression of civil liberties. The Foreign Ministry said the conditions of Ai’s parole require him to report to police when asked and bar him from leaving Beijing without permission for one year. A ministry spokesman did not mention the gag order, but ever since his unexpected release, Ai has told the foreign reporters thronging the gate to his suburban Beijing