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Chinese activist Wu Lihong refused a passport to accept award in L.A.

China’s environmental activist Wu Lihong has been refused a passport by the government of China to go to Los Angeles to accept an award from Visual Artists Guild. Visual Artists Guild is a human rights organization which champions the right of freedom of speech and expression.
After Mr. Wu was refused a passport, his wife and daughter applied for a passport but have yet to receive one.
The award ceremony is scheduled for this Sunday, May 26, 2013 at Golden Dragon Restaurant in Los Angeles Chinatown.
Without giving a reason, the school where Mr. Wu’ daughter is attending changed her dissertation date from May 19 to May 27, the date after Visual Artists Guild’s award ceremony. This change affects not only Mr. Wu’s daughter but all her classmates as well.
Mr. Wu has been active for more than two decades about the pollution of Lake Tai, China’s third largest fresh water lake. He was named “Environmental Warrior” by China’s National Peoples Congress in 2005. When Mr. Wu continued his crusade about Lake Tai, he was sentenced to three years in prison on some trumped up charges in August, 2007.
It was also reported in Australian Financial Review that Mr. Wu was offered “compensation” if “ his family did not attend the award ceremony and even suggested they could find a job for his daughter”.
This series of attempts to block Mr. Wu family from coming to Los Angeles to accept the award follows China’s government release of a white paper this month stating that “China is working hard to build a beautiful country and earnestly guaranteeing the citizens’ environmental rights and interests.”

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