The British government reportedly apologized to Ai in writing "for the inconvenience caused"
(LONDON) — Britain says it is granting dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei a six-month visa, apologizing for rejecting his application over an alleged criminal conviction.
On Thursday Ai disclosed that the British embassy in Beijing had turned down his request for a business visa, saying he had failed to disclose a criminal conviction. It gave him a visit for 20 days instead.
Ai was jailed for almost three months in 2011 amid a crackdown on dissent. His company was later accused of tax evasion and ordered to pay $2.4 million. Ai’s lawyer said that was not a criminal case.
Britain’s Home Office said Friday that Home Secretary Theresa May had told officials to grant the six-month visa. It said it had written to Ai “apologizing for the inconvenience caused.”