11/19/2011, 00.00
CHINA

And now Ai Weiwei is under investigation for child pornography

Charged over photographs on display for over a year on the internet. The investigations concerns anyone else involved in the production and publication of the photos, even the employees of Ai. The charges against the well-known artist multiply, since he began criticizing Beijing.
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Renowned Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei has said that now the police are investigating him on pornography charges over photographs published on the internet for over a year. The photos are shots of study in which Ai is sitting with 4 women sitting around him, all naked, in a bare white room. Ai explains that the women are his fans who participated in a voluntary manner.

He has not yet been questioned, but his assistant, Zhao Zhao, who took the photos, was questioned for hours by police on November 17.

Zhao said that the police "told me that the investigation concerns the photographs and everyone involved in their production and publication on the internet" - "I told them that were just nudes. They told me that they are pornographic because they regard them as such. " The artist, after revealing that the photos are on the internet for over a year, explains that the photographs are for artistic purposes and that "the police should at least know what is pornographic”.

Ai is one of the most famous artists of the country and in the past has been highly appreciated by the authorities, who also called on him to assist in the design of the Beijing Olympic Stadium, the Bird's Nest, until he began to criticize the injustices of arrangements for the workers, migrants, dissidents and fight for democracy. In 2011 he was "kidnapped" by police who detained him for 81 days without communicating the charge. On his release, he continued to give interviews and meet the foreign press, despite a ban by the authorities. In recent months, he has been accused of tax evasion for 15 million yuan over a company linked to him. The sum was collected in a short time through donations of supporters, but the artist said he wanted to argue the charges of tax evasion in court, to demonstrate the inconsistency and shame the Chinese regime over its lies.

"When I was detained - Ai remembers - I was told that these pictures were pornographic, but it made me smile. I asked them if they knew what pornography is. Simple nudity is not pornography".

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