China returns dissident artist Ai Weiwei’s passport after four years

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei speaks during an interview with Reuters at his hotel in BeijingBy Sui-Lee Wee BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese dissident artist and free speech advocate Ai Weiwei said that authorities in Beijing returned his passport on Wednesday, more than four years after it was confiscated following his 81-day secret detention. Ai, 58, told Reuters by telephone that police from the Exit and Entry Bureau, which issues passports to Chinese citizens, called him on Wednesday morning to collect his passport, which he now has in hand. Ai said he is legally allowed to travel outside China, but that will depend on whether other countries issue him visas.

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