China: Online grumble punished with one-year reform-through-labour

Tang Lin joined the “Kidney-stone-baby parent” network in 2008 as he suspected the cause of his baby's death was due to melamine contamination of infant milk formula. Since then, he kept paying visit petition to the Chinese authorities but was neglected.

According to nddaily.com (via 163.com page removed), in May 17 2010, Tang wrote on the “Sanlu Milk Power Incident” QQ group saying that he would “take extreme action” that would be “reported by newspapers”. The police in Chongqing city arrested him on 19 of May and claimed that Tang's discussion on the group intended to “spread terrorizing information and create a terrorizing atmosphere”. Online group members said that Tang was emotional but what he said should not be taken seriously: “How can they turn grumble into crime?”

Chongqing city's Committee of Reform-through-labour decided to take administrative measure in sentencing Tang Lin one year reform-through-labour.

Tang's online message has been deleted and there is no way for the public to know what exactly he had said to “spread terrorizing information”.

Tang's baby boy was born in March 2007. Since January 2008, they started to feed the baby with Sanlu milk power and the kid died in June the same year. 4 days before his death, he could not urinate. In September 2008, the media exposed the Sanlu milk powder problem but his case had been rejected by the health bureau as they could not present the ultrasound report of their baby's kidney stone and the kid's body had been buried.

Earlier this year, the founder of “kidney stone babies”, Zhao Lianhai had also been arrested under the charge of “provoking an incident”. He was put on court on March 30, but the verdict hasn't been announced yet.

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