Chinese artist Ai Weiwei marks a year since release from detention
Ai Weiwei marked a year on Thursday since he was released from imprisonment, saying that he is still forbidden from traveling abroad and continues to face pressure from the Chinese government. The outspoken artist was placed in secret detention last year for a period of 81 days.
Ai was released from prison on a year-long probationary period. He told reporters this week that he is now able to travel outside of Beijing, where he lives and works, but that he cannot travel abroad.
The artist continues to face legal battles with the Chinese government. He is currently in the midst of a court battle over a $2.4 million tax bill imposed by Chinese officials. Earlier this week, Ai said police had blocked him from attending a court hearing.
Ai has gotten into trouble with Beijing repeatedly in the past few years for his online activism. The artist has used Twitter and other social media platforms to advocate for free speech and to criticize the government for its response to the Sichuan earthquake in 2008.
His growing international profile has made his art a hot commodity among museums, galleries and collectors.
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