Ai Weiwei Hits Catch 22 in Tax Lawsuit

Ai Weiwei recently told The Economist that the authorities’ order that he stop surveilling himself was like “Orwell. Or maybe Kafka.” Now, Heller has joined the mix, with the artist’s attempt to sue Beijing tax authorities running into trouble, according to Reuters’ Sui-Lee Wee. A court’s decision on whether to hear the case was expected this week.

But the court told Lu on Thursday to produce the seal – a stamp embossed with the company’s name which is used in China on all official documents – that was confiscated by police when Ai was detained last year.

“We can’t get the seal back,” Ai told Reuters by telephone. “It’s in the hands of the police. It’s very much a Catch 22.”

Ai said Lu was giving the court an explanation on why the seal was missing in the hope it will waive the requirement. The court told Lu she will hear whether the lawsuit is accepted within the next seven days.

Alison Klayman, director of ‘Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry‘, discussed the case on WBEZ’s Worldview. While the odds in Ai’s legal battle may appear stacked against him, she says, he has a history of going through the system in order to demonstrate its flaws.


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