Ai Weiwei freed, China bends to popular outcry

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei was released “on bail” after three months in prison in a secret location. Slightly thinner, but in good health, Ai remains in a sort of house arrest, described by China watchers as a face-saving way of dropping prosecutions that don’t seem worth it, pending the parolee’s good behavior. The release is thought to be an unusual case of the Chinese government bending to international pressure in support of the high-profile artist. Several of his associates and many other less well known dissidents remain disappeared.

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