Ai Weiwei Speaks To ‘Dan Rather Reports’ Just Before Disappearance (VIDEO); Wife Speaks About his Situation

Ten days before Ai weiwei was arrested, he gave an interview to American journalist Dan Rather in which he talks about censorship, political reform, activism, and repression. Very worthwhile video to watch.

The most moving part of the video comes at the very end. When asked whether or not he is afraid of being arrested, responds, “Of course I as a person, you know, I’m quite weak you know. I think you only can bear that much. I mean you constantly ask yourself if physically or mentally you are strong enough for that. I have to always everyday ask myself how long can I last if I am in extreme conditions such as jail.” His words are heartbreaking to hear given his arrest just a week and a half after this segment.

More about the interview, including a video clip, from Huffington Post:

Producers and crew from Dan Rather Reports spoke at length with the controversial artist that some have called “China’s Andy Warhol” at his Beijing studio. Though the primary subject of the interview was Internet censorship, much of Weiwei’s anecdotes seem to hint at his then-forthcoming arrest and alleged government detention.

Watch the video on Huffington Post link above or on Youtube here:

Update: Ai Weiwei’s wife Lu Qing spoke with foreign reporters today:

Ai’s wife Lu Qing told AFP that she still had no official confirmation from police about the investigation, and that she also had no news about where her husband was being detained.

Lu added that the story about the investigation was apparently removed from Xinhua’s Chinese-language feed after about an hour.

Ai’s attorney Liu Xiaoyuan said he had spoken with the family about possibly defending the artist in this case, but that nothing had been decided.

“Right now it is hard to say what is going on,” Liu told AFP.

[…] Ai’s mother, Gao Ying, said she believed her son was the victim of trumped-up accusations.

“I don’t think this is the reason they have taken him away… Ai Weiwei is not a criminal, he is an artist who is in search of justice,” Gao told AFP.

“What has happened is not right. He must have his voice, his work, it is not right that they take him away like this and accuse him of being a criminal. He must be treated fairly. He has the right to voice his views.”

April 6, 2011, 6:07 PM
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