Lead Village Closed to Journalists

The BBC tries to follow up on reports of mass lead poisoning of children in Shaanxi, but finds a media blackout has been imposed on the town:

Madaokou village has been quarantined, not from the lead poisoning that has sickened around 800 children in the area, but from journalists.

On street corners and opposite the closed primary school lurk police vehicles and cars with blacked-out windows.

Locals have been forbidden from speaking to the media, and some complain that their phone calls are being bugged.

But with so many of their children sick – around 160 are in hospital from this and two nearby villages – the residents are determined to tell their story, even at the risk of punishment from the authorities.

August 25, 2009 2:43 PM
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Categories: Politics, Society