China sentences milk-scandal activist to prison
A Chinese court on Wednesday sentenced an activist who represented parents of children made ill by tainted milk powder to two and half years in prison, supporters and rights groups said, DPA reported.
Zhao Lianhai, whose son was one of some 300,000 children affected after consuming melamine-tainted milk powder, was arrested in November and tried on March 30 for "creating a disturbance."
Zhao had set up the website Jieshi Baobao (Kidney Stone Babies) and tried to organize petitions and protests by parents.
Zhao protested the decision by Beijing's Daxing District Court on Wednesday, saying he planned to appeal and start a hunger strike, China Human Rights Defenders quoted his lawyer as saying
According to official reports, six children died and more than 300,000 became ill from the industrial chemical melamine that was added to milk powder and other Chinese milk products.
The scandal was hushed up for several months until after the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Some families have already received compensation from the companies involved in the incident, but state media have reported several new cases of melamine-tainted milk products since 2008.
In August, police arrested six people for distributing milk contaminated with melamine from two factories in northern China.
Some milk producers have used melamine to boost protein levels artificially and raise their profits.