Two and a half months after his imprisonment on charges of tax evasion, internationally-renowned artist Ai Weiwei was released by Chinese authorities because (according to state news agency Xinhua) "of his good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from" (likely diabetes or hypertension).

His release was likely also thanks to the extensive pressure put on the Chinese government, both public and private, by politicians, diplomats and art-world figures. Ai told The New York Times that he's "on bail" and can't speak with reporters, but the artist's lawyer Tweeted that Ai would likely stay out of jail so long as his taxes were paid—a lucky outcome compared with other dissidents like the Nobel Peace-prize winning Liu Xiabo, still serving an 11-year prison sentence. Four "associates" of the artist are still missing.

[NYT; image via AP]