Ai Weiwei’s wife Lu Qing was allowed to see the artist for 20 minutes this Sunday, 43 days since Ai was detained. After the monitored meeting at an undisclosed location, Lu told the press that Ai’s eyes were puffy, “he has changed,” he was “conflicted” and “not behaving naturally,” but “repeatedly assured her” that his “health is good” and that he’s “fine.” His diabetes and high blood pressure are being taken care of, “don’t worry.” He wasn’t tortured, he’s just “tense.” Right.
Yes, we’re skeptical sine Lu’s responses to the press are being monitored as well. Ai’s assumed to be held under residential surveillance somewhere outside Beijing, a type of imprisonment that allows the government to detain him for up to six months without charging him with his unproved “economic crimes.” That’s through October. But at least he got to keep his beard and regular clothes, right?
Several of Ai’s friends, colleagues and employees are still missing. Ai’s not alone. Many writers, bloggers, civil rights lawyers and activists have disappeared in China’s Big Chill crackdown in response to the Jasmine Revolution. Would-be “troublemakers” have been preemptively arrested. The fascistic government forces have been blocking the word “jasmine” in text messages, wiping “jasmine” references from the internet and they even outlawed carrying around actual jasmine flowers because that could symbolize dissent.