Tai Lake campaigner arrested in China

Wu Lihong, an environmental advocate who has been leading a campaign to fight the pollution of Tai Lake in eastern China's Jiangsu province, was arrested on April 13, 2007, according to Pacific Environment, an organisation that focuses on Pacific rim countries. Local officials are accusing Wu of extortion and blackmail.
A resident of Yixing township, Wu has organised the "Defenders of Tai Lake" to monitor water quality of the lake and its tributaries. Tai Lake, once known for its beauty, has seen a steady decrease in water quality, primarily due to pollution from 2,850 factories that have been built along the lake’s shores since the 1990s.

For 16 years, Wu has been collecting water samples, despite harassment by local officials and police, and filing reports to senior government officials which have resulted in the shutdown of nearly 200 factories in the past decade.

The central government published new transparency rules last week which will allow citizens to demand information on air and water quality, pollution spills and the names of violators.

photo by ghoermann