Chinese Dissident's Sister Describes His Detention

Weiwei was kept in tiny room with two guards at all times

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 14, 2011 1:13 PM CDT

(Newser) – The sister of freed Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei says her brother was kept in a tiny, constantly lit room during his three months of detention with two guards present at all times, reports the Washington Post. “They stared at him without ever moving their eyes,” she said, even when he used the toilet. “And when he took a shower, they just stood right next to him, even though they were getting totally wet." He wasn't allowed TV, books, or newspapers. About the only thing he could do was pace—and he lost about 30 pounds.

Other Weiwei developments:

  • He has accepted a teaching position at Berlin's University of the Arts but says he doesn't know whether China will allow him to take it, reports the New York Times. Authorities still haven't returned his passport.
  • A hearing today on his tax-evasion charges resolved nothing, reports the AP. The government refused to allow Ai's representatives to see documents related to the case. “We could not really defend ourselves," his lawyer tells the Post.

A 2009 file photo of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.
A 2009 file photo of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.   (Getty Images)
Lu Qing, wife of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, leaves a cafe in Beijing on Thursday.
Lu Qing, wife of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, leaves a cafe in Beijing on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
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