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Surgery for Chinese activist beaten by police?

The iconic Chinese artist and designer Ai Weiwei is set to undergo surgery in Germany this morning for a cranial bleed, possibly caused by his beating at the hands of the police in Chengdu last month, according to the artist's Twitter feed.

Ai had traveled to Sichuan Province to testify at the trial of Tan Zuoren, a writer and activist on trial for subversion after speaking critically to foreign journalists about the Sichuan earthquake.

Ai, the designer of Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium — the centerpiece of the 2008 Olympics – was reportedly blocked at his hotel, hit on the head by police and detained to prevent him from attending Tan’s trial. He has also been a vocal activist about corruption and other earthquake issues: specifically, getting a true count of all the children killed in the quake, especially in poorly built schools.

On his Twitter feed, Ai posted that after a month of headaches, he was diagnosed in Munich with a cranial bleed and headed for surgery today.