Ai Weiwei visits Catalan activist in prison
Chinese artist and dissident says it’s "ironic that there are political prisoners in today’s Europe"
Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei visited Catalan activist Jordi Cuixart in prison, where he’s held in pre-trial detention for his role in last year’s referendum and declaration of independence.
"It’s quite ironic that there are political prisoners in today’s Europe, imprisoned for over a year without a trial," said Ai after leaving the Lledoners penitentiary in central Catalonia on Friday. "This is certainly not an acceptable situation, as it totally violates the essential meaning of a civilized and democratic society".
"This is certainly not an acceptable situation, as it totally violates the essential meaning of a civilized and democratic society"
Ai Weiwei · Chinese artist and dissident
Ai praised Cuixart, the president of pro-independence Òmnium Cultural, and said that he has an "amazing spirit." While regretting Cuixart’s imprisonment, Ai—who spent 81 days under arrest by Chinese police in 2011—stressed that it was "a very unique opportunity" that "will make [Cuixart] stronger."
It’s not the first time that the Chinese dissident shows interest in the political situation of Catalonia. Last April, he met with former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont in Berlin, and met with the exiled leader again in November to do a joint conference.