Outspoken artist and dissident Ai Weiwei was rejected today by a Chinese court for his appeal against a tax evasion fine from 2011. He was imprisoned for the charge for three months of last year, and upon release was slapped with the fine. After his bail conditions failed to be lifted on June 22, Ai continues to be detained from traveling outside of China.
Ai Weiwei is the subject of Alison Klayman’s Sundance and Berlin doc “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” which charts the artist’s tumultuous relationship with the Chinese government. He gained international prominence as an artist when he helped to design the “Birds Nest” Olympic stadium for the Beijing 2008 games, but quickly fell out of favor with the powers-that-be when he criticized the Games and China’s handling of the Sichuan earthquake that had occurred a few months before.
Supporters of Ai claim that the tax evasion fine is baseless and has been imposed solely due to his controversial political activism.