Status: Free, but under surveillance
‘Who is Afraid of Ai Weiwei?’ asks a recent documentary about the larger-than-life Chinese artist and activist. China’s ruling party seems plenty scared. They detained the outspoken Ai for 81 days last year and reportedly interrogated him at least 50 times. Following his release, Ai was hit with a $2.4 million bill for back taxes and penalties. (He maintains that the charges were politically motivated.) The son of a revolutionary poet, Ai was an artistic consultant for the iconic Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium before running afoul of the authorities. He was a runner-up for TIME’s 2011 Person of the Year.
—by Joe Jackson