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Lawyers sue Chinese government for pollution
10 March 2017
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A group of Chinese lawyers is suing the government for failing to rid polluted cities of smog.

One of the lawyers bringing the action, Cheng Hai, said that pollution could be avoided if the government adhered to laws protecting air quality. He has itemised a list of demands including compensation for face masks, doctor visits, and emotional distress.

Another claimant lawyer, Yu Wengshang, said that they are "victims of smog" and "entitled to ask for an apology and compensation from the government." This is not the first time that Yu has challenged the government. The lawyer was detained by the authorities in the past for supporting human rights lawyers and pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Good luck Yu with getting that apology.

   First, they have to find the court

The lawyers are bringing the claim in respect of pollution in Beijing, Hebei and Tianjin. The cities are in the most polluted region in China. The smog reading in Beijing is seven times above the rating that the World Health Organisation deems to be safe.

Despite being used to wearing face masks, they may not wish to hold their breath for long waiting for a speedy resolution. The courts have rejected previous attempts by lawyers to bring similar claims in the past.


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