Ai Weiwei, the well-known Chinese artist, has been served by the authorities in his home country with a demand to pay the equivalent of 1.7 million euro for alleged tax offences. Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, today (1 November) issued the following statement on the subject:
“I observe with continued concern how the Chinese authorities are treating Ai Weiwei. China always sets itself high standards where developing the rule of law is concerned. But this has to be translated into practice. Ai Weiwei’s treatment creates the renewed impression that Chinese citizens who are critical of official policy are made subject to arbitrary persecution.
Ai Weiwei is highly respected internationally for his art and his frank comments. I call upon the Chinese authorities to ensure that he can once again exercise his right to free speech and movement.”