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Wife Of Arrested Environmentalist Sues China Government

Xu Jiehua, wife of arrested prominent Chinese environmental activist Wu Yilong sits behind the colourful water samples which were collected by her husband Wu Yilong from Chinese urban rivers and lakes during an interview in Beijing. Xu is seeking a court ruling that will remove Yixing in Jiangsu province from an official list of "model environmental cities," she said. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) May 10, 2007
The wife of an arrested environmental campaigner Thursday said she has filed a lawsuit aimed at censuring the eastern Chinese city where he is awaiting trial for blackmail. Xu Jiehua, wife of Wu Lihong, is seeking a court ruling that will remove Yixing in Jiangsu province from an official list of "model environmental cities," she said.

The State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) is named as a litigant in the case due to its role in designating such cities, she said.

Wu, 39, was arrested late last month. He is one of a few environmental activists known to have been arrested in China after waging extensive campaigns against local governments to clean up the environment.

Wu has fought for years against the pollution of Taihu lake in the centre of the Yangtze River Delta plain, a region known for its natural beauty but now littered with light industry and chemical factories.

"Wu Lihong was about to come to Beijing to sue the environmental protection agency when he was arrested, now I am carrying on his work," Xu said.

Xu filed the suit in accordance with provisions on suing the government in China's "administrative procedural law."

Chen Faqing, a colleague of Wu's and a fellow activist, is a co-plaintiff.

The two have provided 83 bottles of contaminated water samples gathered from the Yixing region next to Taihu Lake, and also gathered a series of television and news reports which document polluted rivers in the area.

"We have written letters, provided reports to local, provincial and central governments on the pollution and environmental damage being done to Yixing," Chen said.

"But to no avail, even SEPA has ignored our reports. The lawsuit is the only way left for us to address this."

Source: Agence France-Presse

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