Environmentalist Wu Lihong sentenced to 3 years in jail on “extortion” chargesComments Off on Environmentalist Wu Lihong sentenced to 3 years in jail on “extortion” charges
Environmentalist Wu Lihong sentenced to 3 years in jail on “extortion” charges
(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, August 10, 2007) – CHRD is informed that the environmentalist Wu Lihong, of Jiangsu province, was sentenced to three years in jail today, August 10, 2007. In an unusual move, the court pronounced the sentence at the end of the 7-hour long trial. The court also ordered a fine of three-thousand RMB yuan and pay-back of “extorted money” of four thousand five hundred RMB yuan. Mr. Wu said he would appeal.
Mr. Wu, 39, was arrested on April 13, 2007, on suspicion for “extortion” by the Yixing City police. He was convicted by the Yixing City Court for the same crime.
Only four family members were allowed in the court room, which was packed by more than 60 people who appeared to be court staff, while supporters, friends, and reporters were kept out. The family and his lawyers believe that Mr. Wu did not commit any wrongdoing and he was retaliated against by local officials and industries who were angry at his environmental activism.
Mr. Wu was previously scheduled for a court hearing on June 12. But his lawyer, Ms. Zhu Xiaoyan, requested the delay. During one visit, she had noticed that Mr. Wu had injuries and, upon inquiring, Mr. Wu responded that he was beaten at the detention center. The lawyer requested a physical exam by a medical doctor. It is unclear whether the medical exam ever took place.
Wu, a farmer from Zhoutie Township, Yixing city, Jiangsu province, became known for his reporting to government authorities cases of industrial waste dumping into Tai Hu (Tai Lake) since 1991. His work embarrassed and offended local officials and the polluting industry.
For more details, view Wu Lihong case file (in Chinese):
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