Artist Ai Weiwei released on bail

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Various news agencies are reporting this morning that imprisoned artist Ai Weiwei has been released on bail.

Ai, who was arrested in April on charges of tax evasion, bigamy, and "spreading pornography on the Internet," is now apparently in touch with his attorney and other web denizens via text and was reached by the New York Times on his cell phone. "I'm released, I'm home, I'm fine," he told the reporters.

The Xinhua report states that Ai, whom the Guardian reported was in "good physical health" in mid-May, was released due to a "chronic disease he suffers from," as well as his willingness to pay the disputed taxes.

Ai was arrested at the Beijing airport on April 3 as he was about to board a Hong Kong-bound aircraft. It is widely believed in the West that the charges are politically motivated.

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