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Saturday, 11 August 2007

China Environmental Activist Imprisoned

An environmental activist convicted on charges he blackmailed polluting businesses was sentenced to three years in prison on Friday after a seven-hour trial, his lawyer said.

Wu Lihong, named one of China's top 10 environmentalists in 2005, was arrested in April on what his wife and friends say were charges concocted by local officials who were embarrassed by Wu's whistle-blowing.

The court in the eastern city of Yixing also fined Wu $520 and ordered him to repay $5,900 that he allegedly extorted from the businesses, Zhu Xiaoyan, Wu's lawyer, told the Associated Press by phone.

"We will definitely appeal," Zhu said. AP