Taihu Lake campaigner jailed

Wu Lihong, a long-time campaigner on pollution issues around China's third-largest lake, has been sentenced to three years in prison for fraud and extortion.

Wu was accused of extorting 15,000 yuan (US$1,900) from a businesswoman. "Wu threatened the factory that its equipment would not pass environmental tests… if Wu failed to get kickbacks from the deal," China Daily said on Monday.

Wu argued that the money was a commission for selling anti-pollution facilities to factories, Reuters quoted his wife as saying on Monday.

Taihu Lake is on the border of east China’s Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. In late May and early June, the lake was covered in a thick bloom of algae that left tap water smelly and undrinkable for more than 2 million residents in the city of Wuxi.

The provincial environmental administration of Jiangsu had recommended Wu for a nationwide "Top Ten Environmentalists" award in 2005.

See full story