On the morning of April 3rd, 2011 Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was arrested and detained at the Beijing airport as he attempted to board a plane to Hong Kong. His Beijing studio was also raided. His wife, Lu Qing, and eight assistants were taken into the local police station for questioning. Five of Weiwei's associates remain missing and Weiwei's detention continues.
Ai Weiwei has not been heard from or seen since the morning of April 3rd, 2011.
- 2 years, 11 months, 5 days, 9 hours, 35 minutes ago
An architect, an artist, an activist, Ai Weiwei helped design the "'Bird's Nest' Olympic Stadium" in Bejing, is currently exhibiting a massive installation work at the Tate Modern in London, and has organized the discovery and publication of the names of more than 5000 children who died in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, information that the Chinese government had until recently suppressed. This project put Weiwei at great personal risk: e.g., in 2009 while conducting research in Chengdu on corrupt building practices, he was severely beaten by policemen and suffered a hematoma on the right side of his skull as a result. In November of 2010 he was placed under house arrest for planning a party to "celebrate" the demolition of his new studio by government authorities. The studio was torn down in January of 2011.
In the last few years Ai Weiwei has been under constant surveillance and the target of numerous cyber-attacks, as have his allies. Change.org, a website collecting signatures calling for his release, has been subjected to denial-of-service attacks.
In China "Ai Weiwei" is a banned search term.