Salman Rushdie has this to say about the incarceration of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in New York Times:
"The lives of artists are more fragile than their creations. The poet Ovid was exiled by Augustus to a little hell-hole on the Black Sea called Tomis, but his poetry has outlasted the Roman Empire. Osip Mandelstam died in a Stalinist work camp, but his poetry has outlived the Soviet Union. Federico García Lorca was killed by the thugs of Spain's Generalissimo Francisco Franco, but his poetry has survived that tyrannical regime."
In this well argued article he points out how totalitarian governments have tried to suppress free speech and expression of writers and artist. He further states about Mr. Ai's release:
"His (Ai's) release is a matter of extreme urgency and the governments of the free world have a clear duty in this matter."