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Environmental Activist Sun Xiaodi Sentenced to Two Years of Reeducation-Through-Labor; Daughter to Year-and-a-Half

July 16, 2009

Human Rights in China (HRIC) is deeply concerned that Gansu authorities have sentenced well-known environmental activist Sun Xiaodi (孙小弟) to two years of Reeducation-Through Labor (RTL), and his daughter Sun Dunbai (孙敦白), also known as Sun Haiyan (孙海燕), to one-and-a-half years of RTL, for criminal acts that endangered state security.

In the RTL sentencing decision (劳动教养决定书), 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 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.

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.

RTL Sentencing Decision for Sun Xiaodi and Sun Dunbai
Translation by HRIC, July 16, 2009

Gannan Prefecture Reeducation-Though-Labor Committee
Reeducation-Through-Labor Decision
[One line of text illegible.]

Name: Sun Xiaodi (孙小弟), male, born January 26, 1955
Nationality: Han
Place of birth: Zhabei District, Shanghai
ID Card Number: 62324550126001
Education: Junior high school
Occupation: Retired worker of former state-run nuclear industry No. 792 Mine
Location of household registration: Diebu County (迭部县), Gansu Province
Address: Living District 514, No. 792 Mine, Diebu County

Criminal experience: Sun was criminally detained on April 29, 2005, by the State Security Bureau in Lanzhou City on suspicion of endangering state security, and was arrested on May 1, 2005. On September 20, 2005, the Public Security Department in Gansu Province changed his arrest to residential surveillance, and on March 9, 2006, lifted the residential surveillance.

Name: Sun Dunbai (孙敦白), also known as Sun Haiyan (孙海燕), daughter of Sun Xiaodi, born September 29, 1983
Nationality: Han
Birth Place: Diebu County (迭部县), Gansu Province
ID number: 310115198309293227
Education: High school
Occupation: None
Location of household registration: Shanghai
Current address: Room 424, No. 50 West Lu Wan Sub-district, Tongzhou District, Beijing
Passport number: 025461928

Facts and proof of the unlawful crimes: On June 1, 2004, Sun Xiaodi, through the introduction of Ye Guozhu (Beijing resident, who in 2004 was sentenced by the Beijing Dongsheng District People’s Court to four years’ imprisonment for disturbing social order), was interviewed by Epoch Times reporter Zhao Zifa at Yeh’s home, and later induced (唆使) five former workers at the No. 792 Mine – Li Yongyuan, Chen Guangxi, Qin Xingzhong, Yang Jinxiao, and Chen Zhongfeng – to give phone interviews to Zhao near the gate of Beijing’s Tao Ran Park. At Zhao’s request, he also gave him written documents that he, Sun Xiaodi, organized. The contents of these documents involved and related to the geological position of the formerly state-operated No. 792 Mine, names of the mineral products, size and quality of the deposits, production volume, technical process, codes of product grades, the management process for decommissioned material, and other situations. Sun, through Ye Guozhu and Ma Jiemin (Beijing resident), also supplied written documents and photographs with related contents to Zhao Zifa. On August 6, 2004, after Epoch Times published and posted on its website an article titled, “Horrific Sights: The Extent of Nuclear Pollution Created by No. 792 Mine in Gansu,” based on Zhao Zifa’s interviews with Sun Xiaodi, Luo Shikui and others, and on the material and photos provided by Sun Xiaodi, many overseas websites, one after another, reprinted [the article] from varying angles and to varying degrees, and Sun Xiaodi accepted interviews from many overseas agencies, organizations, and individuals about the relevant contents, illegally supplying state secrets and intelligence overseas.

Since March 2006, Sun Xiaodi had shown no repentance and continued spying. After stealing information related to the former state-run No. 792 Mine, he provided the information to his daughter, Sun Dunbai, and she in turn provided the information to overseas agencies, organizations, and individuals. Using the need to maintain stability, relocate evicted householders, and rescue people from the earthquake in districts in Diebu County [as opportunities], Sun fabricated and distorted facts, wantonly spread rumors, confused right and wrong, engaged in defamation and incitement with the slogans of “nuclear pollution,” “nuclear proliferation,” “human rights violations,” and “fake earthquake” to create public fear.

In 1988, Sun Xiaodi applied for a two-year leave without pay. When he returned to work in October of 1990, he was dissatisfied with the work assigned by his original work unit and stopped going to work. From troublemaking to endless petitioning to engaging in criminal activities, he has endangered and perniciously affected state security and interests. The proof of the above-mentioned criminal activities by Sun Xiaodi and Sun Dunbai, which endangered state security and interests, consists of complaints, witness testimony, their own confessions, material and documentary evidence, and official state secrets classification. The evidence mentioned above is objective and true; the facts are clear; the pieces of evidence are solid and comport with one another and sufficiently determine the facts of the crimes.

According to the stipulations of Items 2 and 4 of Article 1 of the “Decision Regarding the Question of Reeducation-Through-Labor” approved by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, and of Items 1 and 5 of Article 10, and Article 13 of the “Provisional Method of Reeducation-Through-Labor,” approved by the State Council and issued by the Ministry of Public Security, this Committee has decided to sentence Sun Xiaodi to two years of Reeducation-Through-Labor. Before this decision, Sun Xiaodi was criminally detained by Reeducation-Through-Labor personnel. Each day of criminal detention shall count as one day of Reeducation-Through-Labor. The term of [his] Reeducation-Through-Labor is limited to the period of June 16, 2009, to June 15, 2011.

According to Item 1 of Article 10, and Article 13 of the “Provisional Method of Reeducation-Through-Labor,” approved by the State Council and issued by the Ministry of Public Security, each day of Sun Dunbai’s criminal detention by Reeducation-Through-Labor personnel before the Reeducation-Through-Labor decision shall count as one day of Reeducation-Through-Labor. The term of [her] Reeducation-Through-Labor is limited to the period of June 16, 2009, to December 15, 2010.

If the defendants contest this decision, they can apply, within 60 days of the receipt of this decision, to the Gannan Prefecture People’s Government or Gansu Province Reeducation-Through-Labor Administrative Committee for an administrative review, or directly bring an administrative suit, within three months of the day of receipt of this decision, in the Diebu County People’s Court.

July 9, 2009

For the original Chinese-language text of the RTL sentencing decision (劳动教养决定书), please see “Minsheng Guancha qiangli kangyi Gansu jingfang dui Sun Xiaodi fu-nü de lao-jiao jueding” [民生观察强烈抗议甘肃警方对孙小弟父女的劳教决定], July 16, 2009.

For more information on Sun Xiaodi, see: