BEIJING — The dissident artist Ai Weiwei was allowed a visit from his wife on Sunday, the first time he has been seen or heard from since being detained by authorities 43 days ago and held incommunicado in a secret Beijing-area location, Mr. Ai’s attorney said on Monday.
The attorney and family friend, Liu Xiaoyuan, said he had met on Monday with Ms. Lu and that she said her husband appeared to be in good physical condition. Mr. Ai also asked about the health of his mother and family, he said, but the circumstance of the supervised visit offered no chance to discuss how his captors were treating him or other details of his confinement.
News service reports stated that Mr. Ai, who suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure, was receiving needed medications.
Ms. Lu said that Mr. Ai was not being held in a hospital or a jail but did not further describe his living conditions. “It appears he’s not in handcuffs, he was not wearing prison clothes and he was allowed to move freely within where he is living now,” Mr. Liu said. “So I guess it’s a form of house arrest, under supervision.”
Chinese authorities have yet to bring any charges against Mr. Ai, 53, who was seized at Beijing’s main airport on April 3 as he prepared to board a plane to Hong Kong. The government has since said that he was suspected of committing economic crimes, and tax investigators have searched his office records, Mr. Liu said.
A number of foreign governments, human rights organizations and art groups have denounced Mr. Ai’s detention, saying it was clearly linked to his sharp criticism of China’s government on a number of fronts. An internationally recognized artist and architect, Mr. Ai has used his art and leveraged his fame to criticize socials and political conditions in China, from restraints on freedom of expression to official corruption.