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Ai Weiwei Faces Two Million Dollar Fine

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Published on Nov 2, 2011

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Prominent Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is critcizing the Chinese regime for slapping him with a 2.4 million dollar tax evasion fine. Ai is known for being an outspoken human rights activist, and exposed shoddy school construction after a massive earthquake in Sichuan Province in 2008.

After abducting him from an airport, sentencing him to 81 days in jail, followed by months of heavy surveillance, the Chinese regime has now slapped artist Ai Weiwei with a 2.4 million dollar fine.

And now Ai is speaking out, saying the fine is just a way for the Chinese regime to put pressure on him... and that the tax charges are not true.

[Ai Weiwei, Artist]:
"During my 81-day imprisonment, the main charge against me was subversion. But after they released me, the charges were on tax evasion. But in this company, I'm not the director, or a manager, nor have I seen any accounting statements. The statements were taken away by the authorities, and they haven't given them to us to this day. So as for the details of how they came up with this figure, I don't know."

The Company is called Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd. It's owned by Ai's wife, Lu Qing. But if Ai doesn't pay, he could face arrest once again.

[Ai Weiwei, Artist]:
"I don't think this is a personal tax issue. Everyone's safety or innocence has to do with society's safety. I'm not struggling for myself, I'm struggling for the entire country's judicial system. I think that the judicial system should be fair, then only can it guarantee the country's prosperity and strength. Otherwise the strength of a country would just be threatening to the world."

Ai was perhaps the most prominent in a string of arrests earlier this year. It was part of a larger crack down on rights activists and dissidents.

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