(From The Guardian)
The dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has accused British authorities of turning their backs on human rights defenders after UK immigration officials rejected his application for a six-month business visa, claiming he had not declared a criminal conviction in his home country.
Ai spent 81 days in secret detention in 2011 after being seized by Chinese security agents during a crackdown on activists who Beijing feared were trying to launch a “jasmine revolution”.
He was subsequently ordered to pay a $2.4m fine for allegedly unpaid taxes although supporters said the penalty was a politically motivated punishment for the artist’s fierce criticism of the Communist party.
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