Photograph Could Lead to Porn Charge for Ai Weiwei
China restricts artist's travel despite lifting bail terms
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2012 11:21 AM CDT
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei drops a copy of a government document informing him of the expiry of his bail term, in a park in Beijing on June 21, 2012.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Ai Weiwei is free—sort of—but his problems could just be beginning. China lifted the strident conditions of the artist's bail today, allowing him to leave his home without alerting police for the first time in a year. But police also told him that he is suspected of other crimes, including porn, bigamy, and illegally exchanging foreign currency, and hence forbidden to travel, the artist tells Reuters. "If getting back half of my freedom means I'm free, then I'm a free person," Ai said.

Ai said the porn charge is based on a 2010 photo taken "as a joke"; it shows him sitting next to several posed naked women. "We never even touched each other. It's nothing. Nobody will say that's pornography." But police said it counted as porn because it had been viewed more than 1,000 times online. Ai denies the bigamy charge as well—he is married but also has a girlfriend, who is the mother of his three-year-old son.
 

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