Environmental Activist Sun Xiaodi and Daughter Detained for “Providing State Secrets Overseas”

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Environmental Activist Sun Xiaodi and Daughter Detained for “Providing State Secrets Overseas”

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders- June 25, 2009)- CHRD learned on June 24 that Sun Xiaodi (孙小弟), a Gansu environmental activist and recipient of the 2006 Nuclear-Free Future Award, has been criminally detained on suspicion of “illegally providing state secrets overseas”. Sun’s daughter, Sun Haiyan (孙海燕, also known as Sun Dunbai [孙敦白]), has also been detained on the same charge.

According to Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW), on June 16, police seized Sun Xiaodi at his home in Diebu County, Gansu Province. On the same day, Gansu police forcibly returned Sun Haiyan, who was in Beijing at the time, to Gansu Province. In the evening of June 16, Sun Xiaodi’s wife, Hu Jianhong (胡建红), received a call from the Diebu County police that Sun Xiaodi has been detained on “illegally providing secrets”. On June 24, Hu received her daughter’s detention notice, dated June 16, stating that Sun Haiyan has been detained for “illegally providing state secrets overseas”. Hu has not yet received a formal notice regarding Sun Xiaodi’s detention. Sun Xiaodi is reportedly detained at the Diebu County Detention Center and Sun Haiyan at the Luqu County Detention Center, both are in Gansu Province.

According to Hu, her husband recently contacted members of human rights organizations and the central government, reporting that the local officials in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and Diebu County exaggerated the local impact of the May 2008 Sichuan earthquake in order to receive increased disaster relief funding. Sun Xiaodi also continues to relate concerns about radioactive contamination and pollution from the Number 792 uranium mine in Diebu County, where he worked. It is not known why Sun Haiyan is being detained, but she might have been retaliated against for assisting her father in exposing official misconduct.


Sun Xiaodi, a former employee at Number 792 uranium mine, Diebu County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, has been working to expose illegal activities at the mine and serious environmental degradation since 1988. He has documented cases of hazardous working conditions, increased rates of cancer among people living near the mines, and improper disposal of radioactive waste and equipment, actions that have earned him years of harassment and persecution from local officials. From April to December 2005, Sun was secretly detained after being intercepted petitioning in Beijing. He was awarded the prestigious “Nuclear-Free Future Award” for his work on December 1, 2006, which brought increased attention from the authorities.

Media Contacts for this Release:

Renee Xia, International Director (English and Mandarin): +852 8191 6937

Wang Songlian, Research Coordinator and English Editor (English, Mandarin and Cantonese): +85…

For more information about Sun Xiaodi, please see:

反核污染斗士孙小弟父女被刑事拘留, June 24, 2009, /Article/Class2/200906/20090624224317_15994.html

反核污染斗士孙小弟被控“非法提供秘密情报”遭拘捕, June 16, 2009, /Article/Class53/200906/20090616235849_15883.html

The Perils of Defending Rights, May 4, 2007, /Article/Class2/200906/20090624224317_15994.html

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