Ai Weiwei Accepts Job Offer in Berlin
The high-profile Chinese dissident-artist Ai Weiwei, recently released from over two months of arbitrary detention, has decided to accept a job at the Berlin University of Arts.
He told the press on Wednesday that he made up his mind only recently about the offer that had been in the pipeline for some time.
The university had first made the offer public in April, after Ai was effectively abducted from the Beijing airport by Chinese security forces.
During his detention, Chinese officials retroactively stated that Ai was being charged with vague tax offenses. It is commonly thought that he was actually targeted for his outspoken political views and bitter remarks about the Communist Party’s rule. He is expected to respond soon to the tax charges.
During Ai’s detention, unconfirmed reports emerged that he had been subjected to a range of cruel tortures while in custody. The reports have not been confirmed, but some Chinese journalists and commentators thought there was substance to the claims, particularly given Ai’s broken spirit upon release. Ai has not been his rambunctious and defiant old self. He has said nothing of his experience in custody and has refrained from criticizing the authorities since his release.
It is not known whether he will be allowed to leave China to fill the Berlin position.