This Is Important, You Should Know About It of the Day: 53-year-old Ai Weiwei — an outspoken critic of the Chinese government and by all accounts China’s best-known artist (previously) — is missing and his whereabouts are unknown after he was detained by police at Beijing Capital International Airport.
In addition to his sudden disappearance, Ai’s studio in north Beijing was raided and over 30 computers were confiscated. Ai’s wife Lu Qing was also detained, but was released after questioning. “They asked me about Ai Weiwei’s work and the articles he posted online … I told them that everything that Ai did was very public, and if they wanted to know his opinions and work they could just look at the internet,” she told the Associated Press.
According to The Guardian, Beijing police claim they know nothing about Ai, and an airport police spokesman was similarly mum. Ai’s arrest is reportedly part of a wider government crackdown on dissidents in which several have been criminally detaining, arrested for incitement, or disappeared.
[bbc / guardian / wapo.]