Environmental activist Sun Xiaodi has been sentenced to two years of reeducation through labor. His daughter has been sentenced to a year and a half.
Sun Xiaodi was a worker at No. 792 Uranium Mine, a base of production of nuclear material in Gansu Province. Despite continuous harassment by local authorities, Sun has, over the past 20 years, continued to report on the nuclear contamination and grave consequences brought about by the No. 792 Uranium Mine, in order to protect the environment and defend the rights and interests of the mine workers. For his work, Sun was honored in 2006 as a fighter against nuclear contamination and awarded the world’s most prestigious anti-nuclear prize, the Nuclear-Free Future Award. After Sun was awarded the prize, his situation became increasingly difficult as the authorities intensified their monitoring and harassment of him.
Gansu authorities have sentenced him to two years of Reeducation-Through Labor (RTL), and his daughter Sun Dunbai, also known as Sun Haiyan, to one-and-a-half years of RTL, for criminal acts that they allege have endangered state security.
In the RTL sentencing decision, the authorities assert that Sun Xiaodi stole information relating to the state-owned No. 792 Uranium Mine in Gansu and gave it to his daughter to supply to overseas organizations, and that he distorted facts, spread rumors, and incited the public with libelous slogans of “nuclear pollution” and “human rights violations.”
The sentencing decision also states that the authorities have proof of the criminal acts committed by Sun and his daughter, including witness testimony, Sun’s and his daughter’s own statements, material proof, and official “state secrets” classification of the information that Sun and his daughter handled.
“If the authorities have evidence that Sun Xiaodi and his daughter endangered state security, they should present it in an open and fair trial,” said Sharon Hom, executive director of HRIC. “Instead, they chose RTL - a nontransparent process of administrative punishment lacking procedural protections - raising strong suspicions about their handling of these cases.” HRIC urges the Chinese authorities to review the Sun cases and rescind or suspend their RTL sentences.