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Sun Dec 6, 2015, 12:07 AM

 

Chinese Justice: Charging anti-pollution NGO volunteers with prostitution (nothing new)


Two volunteers for an environmental NGO investigating industrial pollution and wetland destruction caused by Ni Hejin Industrial Park in Ningde were arrested for “suspected prostitution” by local police yesterday. Local police announced that the two were released this morning.

NGO staff received a text at 8 am this morning from one of the volunteers, a woman named Tian. The text said, “Please report
that we are safe. The police took us to the train station. Will be in touch.”

Xu, a male, volunteered at Ziran Daxue, and Tian was a volunteer for Tianjin Luling. Both companies are environmental NGOs.

Xu and Tian, were arrested yesterday around 5:30 pm in Ningde, Fujian and were charged with “suspected prostitution.” When NGO staff members called the local police to try to get the two volunteers released they asked how police knew the two were involved in prostitution. The police answered that “they just knew.”

“Before his arrest, Xu had been investigating Ningde’s Ni Hejin (Nickel Alloy) Industrial Park’s pollution and effect on the surrounding wetlands. The organization has been looking into this since early 2015, and we will continue our research,” said Zhu Qing, a representative of the environmental organization.

“On December 1, Xu and Tian took a trip to Fujian to find out the true conditions at the industrial park. On December 2, they figured out during their research that the factory had recorded Tian’s ID number. The next day they were arrested by police,” said Zhu.

Zhu said that Xu had been researching the pollution levels of Ningde’s nickel industry since May of this year, and has been classified as a “person of interest,” in the city. Therefore, Xu did not use his ID when checking into the hotel, the two used Tian’s instead and stayed in the same room.

“Xu has been researching this place for almost seven months. Before, he had rented an apartment in Ningde. He planned to follow up on earlier research but his landlord kicked him out because of ‘pressure,” said Zhu.

Xu was repeatedly blocked during his investigation. He and a local volunteer were once followed when driving around the city. They said it seemed like the car was trying to hit them. A drone given to the local volunteer from the organization as a gift was also confiscated.


NOTE: Translated article: Original Source: http://view.inews.qq.com/a/NEW2015120402467702

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