HK politicians voice support for milk activist

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 November, 2010, 12:00am

Politicians in Hong Kong - including leading Beijing loyalists - expressed support yesterday for the release of Zhao Lianhai .

National People's Congress deputy Ip Kwok-him said he would write a letter to the Supreme People's Court to express concern about the case of Zhao, jailed for two and a half years by a Beijing court on Wednesday for campaigning for justice for parents whose children fell ill drinking melamine-tainted milk.

'Zhao's son was a victim of the melamine-tainted milk, so it is reasonable for him to express his feelings and demand justice from the departments concerned,' said Ip, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong. 'Two-and-a-half years' imprisonment is unreasonable.'

Another NPC deputy, Miriam Lau Kin-yee, will consider getting other NPC members to write to Beijing.

'From the view of Hong Kong, the term was too heavy and we empathise with that,' the Liberal Party chairwoman and lawmaker said. 'Due to the constraints of 'one country, two systems', there is not much we can do. I believe the NPC delegates will try their best to do something for him.'

Ng Hong-mun, who retired from the NPC after 32 years in 2007, said the court's decision would only trigger more action.

'The government should tackle the issue with tolerance, and not by giving Zhao such a harsh term,' said Ng.

Pan-democrats also expressed their support for Zhao.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China and the Civic Party staged protests at the central government's liaison office in Western calling for Zhao's release.

About 20 alliance members were met by police at the gates. and a minor scuffle occurred. The members then tried to deliver a letter of protest but it was torn up and thrown back outside the gate.