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Ai Weiwei loses tax case appeal, slams Chinese judicial system

July 20, 2012|By David Ng
  • Ai Weiwei speaks to journalists on Friday after a Chinese court rejected his tax case appeal.
Ai Weiwei speaks to journalists on Friday after a Chinese court rejected… (Ng Han Guan / Associated…)

Ai Weiwei lost his appeal in his high-profile tax case on Friday, prompting the artist to speak out yet again against the Chinese government. A court in Beijing upheld an approximately $2.4-million fine for tax evasion against the artist.

The tax fine had been imposed against Ai's company, Beijing Fake Cultural Development. Supporters of the artist believe that the fine is an attempt by Chinese officials to penalize Ai for his online political activism and fight for free speech.

Ai told reporters Friday that the Chinese legal system "still has no respect for the truth, still will never give taxpayers and citizens an ability to justify themselves." He added that the system is "shrouded in darkness."

The rejection by the court had been widely expected. Ai told journalists that he will continue to appeal the case. Supporters around the world have sent donations to the artist to aid his legal fight.

On Twitter, Ai posted news about the decision once it was announced and has also provided links to documents from the court case.

Earlier this year, the court had barred Ai from attending court hearings concerning the tax case.

Ai regularly uses Twitter and other social media for his political activist work. He has repeatedly criticized Beijing for human-rights abuses, especially in the realm of free speech. In 2011, he was held in secret detention for 81 days in Beijing.

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