21 Jul 2012

Court rejects dissident's tax fine appeal

8:49 am on 21 July 2012

A court in China has rejected an appeal by artist and dissident Ai Weiwei against a fine for tax evasion.

The 15 million yuan ($NZ3 million) penalty was imposed in 2011 on the company that produces his art and designs.

The artist's supporters say the tax case is part of the government's effort to stifle dissent.

Chinese authorities maintain that the firm, Fake Cultural Development, owes them money and it must be paid back.

Mr Ai is a designer for Fake Cultural Development and his wife is the legal representative of his company.

The artist, a outspoken critic of the government, was detained for almost three months without charge last year.