Spokesman for Tainted Milk Parents Arrested

UPDATE: According to one of the parents of the Kidney Stone Babies, the Beijing Police had refused to grant a visit to a representative from Zhao Lianhai’s legal counsel today.  The excuse was that an application for visitation had not been received. Zhao Lianhai is now at a detention centre in Daxing, at the outskirt of Beijing city. 

RT @jiangyalin 今天彭剑律师没有赶回北京,派了另外一个王律师去要求见赵连海,但是遗憾的是相关部门没有接律师的要求会见犯罪嫌疑人的申请,也就是说今天律师要求见老赵被拒绝了,根据给嫂子的拘留书上写的,现在老赵被拘留在大兴拘留所!


I strongly condemn the Beijing Police and demand the immediate release of Zhao Linhai, an Internet activist and the spokesperson for the parents of the tainted milk scandal. Various sources from Twitter and Facebook reported that Zhao was detained during a house raid at around 10.00PM Friday 13 November 2009. His computers and cameras were believed to have been illegally confiscated, since neither Zhao nor his family members had been presented with a warrant for his arrest.

I have been following Zhao at Twitter and Facebook, and admire him for his courage in breaking the Chinese authorities’ imposed code of silence.  Zhao has been a hero in disseminating news about the parent groups’ struggle with authorities for their rights, not just to appropriate compensation, but also to form mutual support groups in promoting health care for infants whose health have been terminally damaged by the Sanlu tainted milk powder.

The last entry of Zhao at Twitter was posted about 13 hours ago. His tweet reads:

Zhaolianhai: 屠夫兄客气了,利用好推特很重要,能将每个经历的事件第一时间传播出来,建议也注册个做啥,然后绑定到推特,利用做啥的手机功能发信息就能同步到推特来RT @tufuwugan: 新兵屠夫来报道,谢谢赵连海老师,在学习中。

Zhaolianhai: My brother Tufu, it is important to learn how to use Twitter so that every incident experienced can be broadcast instantly.  You may also want to register for a Zuosa account and have it linked to Twitter.  You can then use Zuosa’s mobile phone function for sending and synchronising information with your Twitter account.  RT @tufuwugan: a new soldier Tufu reporting.  Thanks to my teacher Zhao Lianhai. I am still learning.

This is just very typical of Zhao Lianhai, a very kind and generous person who has a very strong sense of social justice. Zhao has been teaching Tufu how to use Twitter. Tufu is the nickname of the blogger who used the Internet to rally support for the release of Deng Yujiao, a 21-year-old waitress from Hubei Province who fatally stabbed a Communist Party official after he tried to force himself on her. Deng was eventually found not guilty and walked free from a murder charge.

I think it is about time for other bloggers, netizens and Twitterers to stand up for Zhao Lianhai, who has been bravely fighting this battle against censorship. I’ll update with more information and I’m urging everyone to take action to disseminate this news as widely as possible and to lobby for the release of Zhao Lianhai.

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3 Responses to Spokesman for Tainted Milk Parents Arrested

  1. conscieneceinchina says:

    Shocking! Call on an armed uprising!

  2. C.A. Yeung says:

    That’s right. Zhao Lianhai is totally harmless. He is not a fear-monger or a scandalist. On the contrary, his maticulous way of making sure that the parents get truthful information actually serves to make the group much calmer much more rational. He never undermines authorities. He only puts more emphasis on the need for parents to form support groups and to rely more on themselves and their own common sense to protect their children. If you ask me, I will say that he is a good citizen, one of the best kind, an honourable man who deserves much better than what he is getting.

    Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help him.

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