Ai Weiwei has been denied a 6-month visa to the UK due to his alleged failing to report a "criminal conviction". Despite applying for the half-year business visa, his application was denied and he was allowed a 20-day visa. He revealed this by post a photo of the letter he received on Instagram (below).

"While an exception has been made in this instance," reads the letter, "any future application you submit must be completed as accurately as possible."

In 2011 Ai was arrested at Beijing Capital International Airport and held for 81 days without charge or trial, meaning he actually has no official criminal convictions against his name.

Speaking again on Instagram – as the caption for a quite apt photo of a toilet (below) – he referenced himself in the third person as he talked about the UK's refusal to give him a 6-month visa, something that might ultimately mean he misses overseeing the installation and perhaps opening of his upcoming Royal Academy exhibition:

"Ai Weiwei may not be able to attend his exhibition installation and opening at the Royal Academy of Arts in September 2015, due to the UK Visas and Immigration Department's claim that Ai had submitted false information regarding his criminal records in his application for the UK business visa, and decision to issue a 20-day entry visa instead of the requested six-month business visit visa for London.

"In a letter, the department states that "It is a matter of public record that you have previously received a criminal conviction in China", and in further conversations, referencing news about Ai's secret detention by the Chinese authorities in 2011 and the tax case for Fake Design. Ai, who has never been charged or convicted of a crime, attempted to clarify this claim with the UK Visas and Immigration Department and the British Embassy in Beijing over several telephone conversations, but the representatives insisted on the accuracy of their sources and refused to admit any misjudgment. This decision is a denial of Ai Weiwei's rights as an ordinary citizen, and a stand to take the position of those who caused sufferings for human rights defenders."

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on