China lawyer appeals 'state secret' pollution claim
BEIJING (AFP) - A Chinese lawyer has appealed against an official refusal to release the results of a national soil pollution survey on the grounds that it was a "state secret".
China's environmental protection ministry said the survey results were a state secret after Beijing lawyer Dong Zhengwei applied for them to be released, the Legal Daily newspaper reported.
Mr Dong blasted the ministry's refusal on Wednesday, calling it a "clear denial of the public's right to know and right to monitor". He said he had appealed against the decision on the basis of China's freedom of information regulations.
China's government has come under increasing pressure to take action on pollution in recent months, with large areas of the country blanketed in thick smog, and online campaigners highlighting China's polluted rivers.