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Art June, 22 2011

Ai Weiwei released!

Alison Klayman, director of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, has released a statement on the occasion of the artist’s release.

Friends and fans,

Ai Weiwei has been released!

On Wednesday night, June 22nd at 10:15 pm Beijing time, Xinhua produced a statement that Ai Weiwei had been released on bail because of “his good attitude in confessing crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from.” Hours later, Ai had returned to his home-studio compound in northeastern Beijing and responded to a flurry of text messages and phone calls. He has told the Guardian and other media outlets that he is “fine” and happy to be home. The first photos of Weiwei following his release appeared in the New York Times. The conditions of Weiwei’s release have yet to be confirmed, but Weiwei’s legal counsel, Liu Xiaoyuan, did suggest over Twitter that the artist would not be allowed to exit Beijing city limits. Weiwei himself has stated that he will not be allowed to conduct interviews or use social media for at least “one year.” Many have speculated about the timing of Weiwei’s release, which occurred just days before Wen Jiabao’s visit to Hungary, Germany and Britain, countries that have been particularly critical of Weiwei’s extrajudicial detention.

The NEVER SORRY team closely watched news of Weiwei’s release. I was able to speak with Weiwei earlier today from New York. He was at his home in Caochangdi with his mother. He was happy to be home.

Four of Ai’s associates who also were detained on April 3rd remain in custody. These individuals include independent journalist Wen Tao, Ai’s accountant Hu Mingfen, Ai’s driver and cousin Zhang Jinsong and FAKE designer Liu Zhenggang. None have been formally charged.

It goes without saying that this is a momentous day. Thank you for your support over the past 80 days and we hope to have NEVER SORRY in theaters as soon as possible. Stay tuned for premier and screening information.
Best,

Alison Klayman and the Never Sorry team

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