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Tax Evasion Charges Against Artist Ai Weiwei Finally Revealed

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Finally, nearly two months after his original arrest and detainment by government officials in China, and only recently reported to still be alive by his wife who was allowed to visit him, the charges against artist Ai Weiwei have been revealed. According to a very brief story originally published by the state news agency Xinhau, police authorities in Beijing have stated that the reason for Weiwei’s arrest stems allegations that his company, The Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., “intentionally destroyed accounting documents” and that the artist himself had “evaded ‘a huge amount’ of tax.” Though officials still stand beside their claims that these “economic crimes” are the sole reason Weiwei was arrested and remains confined, critics of the government and friends of the artist still believe that “the charges seemed designed to justify Ai’s arrest and ‘restrict his personal freedom.’” The brief release about why he was arrested was filed Friday evening, but as the LA Times reports, was removed from Xinhau’s news wire shortly thereafter, though not before it had already disseminated across other news outlets.

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