Thursday, April 7, 2011
Update on arrested Chinese dissident...
Chinese police said the detained artist and activist Ai Weiwei is being investigated for "suspected economic crimes", while his family said on Thursday he was the victim of a political crackdown also decried by the departing U.S. ambassador.
"Police said late Wednesday they are investigating Ai Weiwei for suspected economic crimes in accordance with the law," the official Xinhua news agency said in a brief dispatch issued on Wednesday just before midnight.
The report that Ai may be under police investigation for economic crimes, which could cover charges such as tax evasion, is unlikely to still the uproar his case has sparked, with human rights groups and Western governments calling him a target of China's campaign to stifle dissent.
The burly, bearded Ai (pronounced "eye") had a hand in designing the Bird's Nest stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and has juggled a prominent international art career with colourful campaigns against government censorship and political restrictions, often using the Internet.