Doctor pleads for dying orphans

Stockholm (Reuter) - A Chinese doctor who alerted the world to alleged atrocities in Chinese orphanages said yesterday that the international community should insist on inspecting the homes rather than sending milk and money.

Zhang Shuyun, who has accused Chinese authorities of deliberately leaving toddlers to wither away in "dying rooms", alleged that caretakers at a Shanghai orphanage poured milk and food into the lavatories instead of giving it to children. She said other donations, such as money or clothes, were often stolen by the staff and never reached the orphans.

"The international community should strongly criticise China, separately and through the United Nations. It should also demand that observers are sent to the orphanages. This is more important than donating milk and food," she told a news conference sponsored by Amnesty International.