Ai Weiwei Lawsuit Hits ‘Bureaucratic’ Snag

Mr. Ai. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is having some trouble proceeding in his lawsuit against Beijing authorities, challenging their allegation that his production company owes some $2.4 million in unpaid taxes. According to Reuters, a Chinese court has asked him to furnish the company’s official seal in order to move forward with the suit, but that seal remains in the hands of the police after being confiscated while the artist was held in custody for 81 days last year. It’s quite a conundrum.

Here’s the wire service:

“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.

Added Mr. Ai, referring to the police, “They’re not helpful at all and being very bureaucratic.”