24 Dec 2010

UN concern at jailing of poisoned milk protester

2:07 pm on 24 December 2010

The United Nations has expressed concern about China's prosecution of a parent who campaigned for compensation when his baby son suffered from the effects of poisoned milk.

Six children died and 300,000 were made ill two years ago when the industrial chemical melamine was added to milk in China to make it go further.

Sanlu, a firm part-owned by New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra, was one of 22 Chinese companies involved, and later went bankrupt.

A man whose baby son was harmed tried to campaign for compensation but he has now been jailed for two and a half years for inciting social disorder.

The UN rapporteur on food rights, Olivier de Schutter, says freedoms of expression and association are vital to protecting social and economic rights, such as the right to food.