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  • » 01/04/2007, 00.00

    CHINA

    Environmental activist who exposed radiation pollution in Gansu denied medical treatment



    Sun Xiaodi was diagnosed with abdominal cancer due to uranium radiation. His campaign against uranium mining has been squelched by the authorities.

    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Environmentalist Sun Xiaodi, who exposed radiation poisoning in Gansu province, could die from a potentially life-threatening tumour because the authorities have denied him medical treatment in Beijing, Human Rights in China (HRC) reported yesterday. The activist has been subjected to constant harassment, his home has been raided several times and his family's electricity and water supplies have been regularly cut.

    Sun Xiaodi received the Nuclear-Free Future Award in November for publicly exposing the dangers of radiation pollution at a uranium mine in Gansu.

    The activist said people living near the site had a high incidence of cancerous tumours, leukaemia, birth defects, miscarriages and other afflictions because of the pollution.

    But he was unable to fly to the United States to receive the award because he was not allowed to leave the country, the HRC said.

    The human rights group explained that the activist has campaigned against illegal mining practices in Gansu for more than a decade.

    This kind of mining has led to serious pollution problems in the area. For local Tibetan medical workers, nearly half of the deaths in the region are in fact due to some forms of cancer, according to the human rights group.

    Mr Sun himself has also been diagnosed with an abdominal tumour.

    He was thrown into jail in April 2005 for eight months after speaking to foreign journalists about the pollution and was again detained and released in 2006.

    According to HRC, the activist has been the victim of constant harassment and attacks by unidentified persons since winning the award. And police have entered his home several times and cut off power and water supplies.

    His family asked local authorities last November to allow the activist to go to Beijing for cancer treatment, but the application was turned down.

    Mr Sun was a former employee of the Gansu No. 792 Uranium Mine in the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. He repeatedly petitioned provincial and central authorities to look into local mismanagement and illegal mining, but was instead fired in 1994.

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    See also

    24/01/2007 TIBET – CHINA
    Tibet’s government-in-exile still hopeful of an amicable solution with Beijing
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    13/02/2009 TIBET – CHINA
    Beijing bans foreigners from travelling to Tibetan-inhabited areas
    Wide areas are off-limits to tourists as the anniversaries of the 1959 and 2008 protests approach. Journalists expelled without warning from Tibet. The authorities are getting ready to crush any protests and do not want any witnesses.

    12/04/2014 CHINA
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    Lanzhou officials ask residents not to drink tap water because it may cause death. Illegal spilling of toxic sewage by a chemical plant is thought to be at the root of the problem. As things get worse across the country, the central government appears to be powerless vis-à-vis the problem.

    15/09/2006 CHINA
    Industrial emissions poison 250 children in Gansu
    The children, all under the age of 14, have been taken to hospital. Four show signs of lead poisoning. Official from government environmental agency blames local authorities, guilty in his opinion of protecting local plants.

    31/05/2011 CHINA
    Tensions and repression grow in Inner Mongolia
    Hundreds of police officers keep squares under surveillance, the Internet has been disconnected, young people are confined to their campuses. The Mongols criticize mining investments in the region (coal and rare minerals), which pollute their land and destroy the pastures and their daily lives. Party newspaper: These events are not similar to those of Tibet and Xinjiang.



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