China Defends Detention of Lead Poisoning Victims who Sought Medical Help

More than fifty lead poisoning victims have been detained for six months in China after their bus was pulled over as they went for checks. The Guardian reports:

Police in Jiahe, province, blocked a bus carrying 53 villagers who were on their way to get health checks last September, according to Chinese .

Mistakenly believing the villagers were planning to protest, the police have detained two of them for the six months since on the charge of “disrupting ”. Though has since been proved that they and their children were contaminated by illegal emissions of heavy metals from a smelting factory, the local was unapologetic.

“We may have blocked the wrong visit, but they should not have been on that road,” Li Ying, deputy secretary of Jiahe county political and legislative committee told the Beijing News, which today published an investigation into the incident.

Ou Shudong, the chairman of the local ’s Congress, told the the police roadblock and detentions were justified. “The villagers’ intentions were unclear. Even if they were going for a medical examination, they should have informed the government.”

Read about another recent lead poisoning case in .

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