LE FIGARO (France), AFP
BEIJING - Chinese artist and political dissident Ai Weiwei said Thursday that he'd been barred from attending a hearing on a tax evasion case that the Chinese government has ordered against a firm he founded. Chinese police authorities also warned Weiwei that he was not authorized to leave the country, Le Figaro reports.
A $2.1 million alleged bill looms over Weiwei in the tax evasion case, which Weiwei says is a repressive government measure designed to crush him. He told the AFP that he was able to raise enough money to appeal the decision thanks to 30,000 online contributors, but was barred from attending a hearing on Wednesday. The hearing was indefinitely postponed, and his lawyer and friend Liu Xiaoyuan was forced to leave Beijing.
The artist was released a year ago after three months of detention, and his movements will no longer be restricted within China. But he declared that "they are continuing to restrict my freedom of movement and to fabricate crimes." For instance, Weiwei could be accused of "pornography" by the Chinese authorities after a self-portrait he made with four naked women was published online, according to Figaro.
Here's his interview Thursday with the AFP: