Target: Attorney Dong Zhengwei
Goal: Encourage Chinese attorney Dong Zhengwei to continue his investigation into the government cover-up of environmental data
The issue of declining air, water, and soil quality in China has been frequently raised in Chinese parliament. Even the government admits that the environment a serious problem. But despite this awareness, the government continues to cover up specific details about how serious the environmental problem really is. We should encourage Chinese attorney Zhengwei to continue pressuring the Chinese government to reveal the truth about the environmental issues so that something can be done about them.
According to a recent Reuters report, “When China’s environment ministry told Attorney Dong Zhengwei he couldn’t have access to two-year old data about soil pollution because it was a ‘state secret’, it added to mounting public outrage over the worsening environment.”
Smog levels in Beijing are well above hazardous levels, agricultural soil is contaminated with toxins, and almost all of the drinking water is polluted. China does not exactly welcome public scrutiny on any governance issues, but public outrage may influence officials to reveal at least some information about the state of the environment.
In the Reuters interview, Attorney Zhengwei stated, “The significance of this event goes far beyond just environmental protection. It concerns the problem China has had for many years – the issue of government transparency. [Leaders] shouldn’t use ‘state secrets’ as a shield when they’re not in the right.”
Zhengwei has filed more than 10 lawsuits against government departments in the past over environmental violations. But going after the government in China is always risky. Farmers who have recently raised concerns about soil and water pollution have suffered severe beatings at the hand of government officials.
Sign the below petition to show your support for Attorney Zhenwei’s efforts to pressure the Chinese government to reveal details about the environmental issues so the country’s air, water, and soil quality can improve.[gravityform id=1 name=Signthe Petition: ajax=false]
Dear Attorney Zhenwei,
I truly appreciate your efforts to uncover China’s environmental secrets so we can work together to reduce environmental hazards. It is not right for the Chinese government to refuse the public information about the hazardous and cancer-causing pollution that affects their daily lives.
I am urging you to continue fighting for information about soil and water pollution and pressuring the government to comply with environmental standards. I support your appeal against the environmental ministry for the release of soil survey data and your decision to take the matter to court, if necessary.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: sheilaz413 via Flickr