Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Eat chocolate? Go to prison

I guess we have our fair share of lunatics with good intentions in this country:

A Dutch journalist asked an Amsterdam court on Friday to convict him for eating chocolate, saying by doing so he was benefiting from child slavery on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast.

Teun van de Keuken, 35, is seeking a jail sentence to raise consumer awareness and force the cocoa and chocolate industry to take tougher measures to stamp out child labour.

"If I am found guilty of this crime, any chocolate consumer can be prosecuted after that. I hope that people would stop buying chocolate and thus hurt the sales of big corporations and make them do something about the problem," Van de Keuken said.

Ivory Coast, the world's No. 1 cocoa producer, has been racked by instability since a brief 2002 civil war. International rights groups contend that children are working as slaves on its cocoa plantations.

Van de Keuken launched his attempt to be charged for eating chocolate two years ago when the Dutch public prosecutor ruled that it was not a case for the courts and that the journalist was not directly involved with the cocoa business.

On Friday, he appealed against the prosecutor's decision before a court which is expected to rule in April.

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