Sun Xiaodi harassed since winning award An environmental activist who won international acclaim for exposing a radiation poisoning scandal in Gansu province has been denied medical treatment in Beijing for a potentially life-threatening tumour and is subject to constant harassment, a human rights group said yesterday. Sun Xiaodi received the Nuclear-Free Future Award in November for publicly revealing fears about alleged radiation pollution at a uranium mine in Gansu. The activist said people living near the site had a high incidence of cancerous tumours, leukaemia, birth defects, miscarriages and other afflictions because of the pollution. But Mr Sun was unable to fly to the United States to receive the award because he was not allowed to leave the country, according to the US-based Human Rights in China. The rights group said that for more than a decade the activist had campaigned against illegal mining practices in Gansu, which had led to serious pollution problems. Local Tibetan medical workers have attributed nearly half of the deaths in the region to some forms of cancer, according to the rights group. Mr Sun has also been diagnosed with an abdominal tumour. He was thrown into jail in April 2005 for eight months after speaking to foreign journalists about the pollution. Mr Sun was again detained and released last year. The rights group said the activist had been subjected to constant harassment and attacks by unidentified persons since winning the award. His home had been raided several times and his family's electricity and water supplies had been regularly severed. His family asked local authorities last November to allow the activist to go to Beijing for medical treatment, but the application was turned down, the rights group said. Mr Sun was a former employee of the Gansu No792 Uranium Mine in the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. He had repeatedly petitioned to provincial and central governments against mismanagement and illegal mining at local mine sites, but was fired in 1994 as a result.