China jails father of toxic milk victim

Stephen McDonell
via Australian Broadcasting System

China has jailed a man who was pushing for compensation following a tainted milk scandal.

Zhao Lianhai’s child was one of 300,000 in China who became sick after drinking poisoned milk in 2008.

The dangerous chemical melamine was added to milk formula to artificially boost protein levels.

Six children were killed and another 50,000 hospitalised.

This turned Zhao Lianhua into an activist. He set up a website to help victims and push for compensation.

Police arrested Zhao last December, charging him with the crime of picking quarrels and provoking trouble.

He has now been found guilty of “inciting social disorder” and given a two-and-half year jail term.

Zhao’s wife Li Xuemei says the family will appeal against the decision.

“Of course we cannot accept this. We will appeal. This is something we have to do,” she said.

Amnesty International has condemned the sentence.

“We are appalled the authorities have imprisoned a man the Chinese public rightly view as a protector of children, not a criminal,” Amnesty spokeswoman Catherine Baber said.

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