Artist Ai Weiwei denounced prison abuses via social media after being held for two months by Chinese authorities. He took to Twitter to protest the treatment of his friends dragged into his case and the detainment of activists.
Despite a condition of his bail to keep quiet and not speak of his case, the 54-year-old artist began his Twitter protests over the weekend.
He tweeted about his associates, "Because of the connection with me, they were illegally detained. Liu Zhenggang, Hu Mingfen, Wen Tao and Zhang Jinsong innocently suffered immense mental devastation and physical torment."
"If you don't speak...you are not just a person who will not stand out for fairness and justice; you do not have self-respect," he tweeted.
Chinese authorities said they released Ai Weiwei because he was cooperative about admitting his crimes and paying back taxes. His supporters claim he was illegally detained for his social and political activism.