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China says Ai Weiwei still under investigation

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China says Ai Weiwei still under investigation


Chinese authorities said on Thursday that artist Ai Weiwei is still under investigation for suspected economic crimes, despite his release from jail.

A thinner-looking Ai made a brief appearance outside his Beijing studio to tell reporters that he was in “very good health” after being freed late on Wednesday.

Under the terms of his release, he’s forbidden from leaving the Chinese capital.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the 54-year-old had confessed to tax evasion and destroying accounting documents.

He urged the international community to respect its “judicial sovereignty” over the dissident artist’s case. He was held for 80 days without access to a lawyer.

Ai Weiwei has long been an outspoken critic of the Chinese government’s human rights record, sparking suspicion worldwide that his jailing was a politically-motivated attempt to silence him.

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