Freedom of speech: Freedom from brutality


In a fight for freedom from the communist party, Ai Wei Wei is a dauntless soul for his unguarded critic on the Chinese government’s stance on human rights and democracy. Ai Wei Wei is a liberal thinker, a world-renowned Chinese artist, a political activist and an ambassador for free-speech. His name has reverberated in the art world and across governments all over the world following his arrest at the Beijing airport on the 3rd of April 2011 without a formal notice to his family and friends of his whereabouts within 24 hours of seize. It wasn’t until more than 2 months of detention that he was charged of economic crime. It is often used as a legal pinch-hit for someone deemed to be a political threat. His detention came amidst the far-flung crackdown of activists in China. However, the government denied that his arrest has anything to do with his frequent clash with the authorities owing to his outspoken criticism of the government. This wasn’t his only encounter, He was once a victim of Chinese police brutality and was severely beaten resulting to cerebral haemorrhage for publishing “Independent Investigative Report by Citizens” a concluding document of the deaths of more than 5,000 school children in collapsed classrooms during the Sichuan earthquake.

His arrest had motivated emergency debates and international campaigns demanding political change and protests in China. The US government along with the other countries had requested for his immediate release. He has been released on the 22nd of June 2011, 81 days after his arrest but he was released on bail. According to the government he has been bailed for admitting that he committed huge tax evasions as well as his ill condition. Although Ai has been freed he still faces serious economic crimes and has to pay back all the money, he’s also not allowed to speak to media and he cannot leave Beijing without permission. Simply put it ‘Ai is free but in a highly restricted way’.