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China Claims Artist Al Weiwei Owes Millions in Taxes

November 8, 2011
Plain English Version

The Chinese authorities recently released artist Al Weiwei from prison. They held him for 81 days. He is a protest figure in China who is often critical of the Communist Party.

The government now says he owes 2.4 million dollars in taxes.

He left prison on the condition that he would not continue to oppose the government. However, he has spoken out in articles and on Twitter. He said, “In the battle between creating evil laws and creating good laws, speaking out is golden and silence is death.”

He has described his jailing as “mental torture.” He was kept in solitary confinement and watched by a pair of soldiers who stood inches from his face as he slept, showered and used the toilet. The lights, he said, were never turned off.

The charge that he owed so much in taxes is recent. His business affairs are complicated. He says the charges are part of the government’s program to harass him.

The New York Times


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