Ai Weiwei, the dissident Chinese artist, says that he is returning money donated by supporters to help fight a tax evasion charge and fine imposed on him by the Chinese government.
The artist was detained for three months without charge last year by the Chinese authorities. As one of the most famous living artists in the world his arrest caused outcry from human rights activists and art lovers across the globe.
It is thought that he was arrested to stop him leaving the country to attend openings of his works where it was thought that he might speak out against Chinese human rights abuses and call on Beijing to reform its political system.
On his subsequent release his design company, Fake Cultural Development, was accused and charged with tax evasion. In order to help the artist fight the charges supporters from around the world donated money to him.
He used some of the money to fight the charges but failed and was fined 15m yuan ($2.4m) by the authorities. After failing in his last appeal in July and a September challenge to that decision, Ai has now said that he is going to pay back the cash donations that he received.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Ai Weiwei said:
"We have no more options to keep trying. The court's decision has been made. So we should repay the money."
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