Occupation: Activist, environmentalist, former editor
A Chengdu court sentenced Tan Zuoren to five years in prison in February 2010, ostensibly for criticizing the government’s handling of the Tiananmen Square protests. But some human rights groups suspect it was due to his ongoing investigation into the deaths of children in schools that collapsed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Tan, a well-known critic of the government, published online commentary questioning the total number of children who died, the quality of the school buildings and sought legal justice for parents of the victims.
—by Courtney Subramanian
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