Ai Weiwei Unsuccessful In Overturning Tax Evasion Fine Again

The Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei has unsuccessfully challenged his fine for tax evasion, for a second time. The 15m yuan ($2.4m, £1.5m) penalty, he states is ‘politically motivated’. The Tax authorities imposed the fine on Mr Ai’s firm in 2011.

The process of appeal was rejected in July and again on Thursday a Beijing court rejected the challenge to that decision. The Artist who has been under a form of movement restriction remains unable to leave the country, and stated that life has been a “struggle” since his high profile arrest and trial. “The people in control always use the law to damage different ideas or people who have a different opinion. “Today they are so rough and brutal; there is no space for any kind of communication,” “We have been through every procedure; at every step we tried to make an effort. The result is very clear, nobody throughout the process showed any respect for the law. ” He described the charges as a “fabrication” and said he would not pay the fine because of “the completely disgraceful nature of the charge”. 

Supporters of the artist have always maintained that the charges were brought for his outspoken stand on human rights in the country and the fine was politically motivated. “will keep appealing, until the day comes when we have nothing to lose,” and “This country has once again proved to the world that law and justice don’t exist here” Mr Ai stated on his Twitter site. His lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, who was in court for the verdict, told reporters that the ruling was ”totally without reason”. Mr Ai, 55, has said that the tax bill is pay-back for his activism and challenged it on the grounds that proper procedure had not been followed.

Ai Weiwei was born in 1957 in Beijing, China, where he lives and works. He is one of the most widely known and outspoken Chinese artists working today. Known for his social or performance-based interventions as well as object-based artworks, he employs metaphorical references, humour and political irony in his work. He is best known for his collaboration on the ‘Birds Nest Stadium’ for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He has currently returned to work on the design of the 2012 Serpentine Pavilion with Herzog & de Meuron the original team which produced the ‘Birds Nest’.

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