Ai Weiwei's New Tax Bill From China: $2.4M
They're 'trying to scare me,' says Chinese dissident
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 1, 2011 3:22 PM CDT
Artist Ai Weiwei in 2010.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

(Newser) – Months after he was released from detention on tax-evasion charges, China’s leading activist artist has been delivered a $2.4 million tax bill. “The police have been trying to pressure me to just pay the bill, trying to scare me, warning that if I don't pay I'll be in more trouble,” Ai Weiwei tells the Telegraph, after calling the bill “robbery” on Twitter. “China is so rich and powerful, but it is a country without law.”

Ai was released in June, but the faceoff over taxes hasn’t ended. He has been prohibited from talking to his accountant and a designer, he says. “The three of us all were all secretly detained and until today we are not allowed to see each other.” The designer, Liu Zhenggang, “almost died after he suffered a heart attack because of the very, very severe punishment they gave him.” Will he pay the bill? “How can I? It's not my bill, and I haven't seen the original accounting books since they took everything away.”