China relaxes bans on Ai

Dissident artist Ai Weiwei gained some freedom yesterday when authorities said they would lift domestic travel restrictions, but he still cannot leave China.

Ai said police told him he must not travel abroad because he remains under investigation on charges of peddling pornography and illegally exchanging currency, which he denies.

Ai, known for his satirical art, was detained in April 2011. Following his release in June 2011, his passport was confiscated and he was required to be constantly available for questioning. “I feel this is an illegal practice,” he said. “If I am not allowed to leave, I will have to cancel trips.”