By Erik Crouch
Chinese coal mine, via @Madiko83 http://www.flickr.com/photos/desdegus/3122549784/
Environmentalist Liu Futang has been convicted of “publishing without a license” following his dissemination of several books concerning environmental abuses in Hainan province. Liu self-published a number of books exposing environmental cover-ups and scandals in Hainan, and was initially well-received by local government authorities and the national press. His latest book, which targeted a government-backed coal power plant, was likely a step too far, and resulted in his arrest.
Liu printed more than 18,000 copies of his books, most of which were given to environmental groups and government officials. All of his texts were published without proper licensing, and he was originally sentenced to three years in prison for the offense. After a plea deal, however, he has been given a reprieve and fined RMB17,000.
Liu has been referred to as an “eco-guard” and more recently an “eco-warrior.” Now 65 years old, but successfully not in prison, it remains to be seen whether or not Liu will keep up the fight.