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Cook Is TV Rescreens China Hiv/Aids Doco

Citv Rescreens China Hiv/Aids Doco

By Jason Brown

AVARUA, Rarotonga (JB/Pacific Media Watch): Cook Islands Television tonight rescreened an HIV/AIDS documentary cut short by the station the night before.

Earlier report:

The documentary was replayed in its entirety.

Rescreening of the documentary follows coverage by Pacific Media Watch of CITV cutting it mid-broadcast, without explanation.

Residents in the capital on Rarotonga saw local officials in China accused of corruption, reusing needles in a blood bank programme, and selling the blood for profit.

Many were subsequently diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.

More than 800,000 people in China are now thought to have contracted HIV/AIDS, according to the documentary by Hempisheres, a joint Australia and Canada current affairs programme.

Broadcast on Australia Broadcasting Corporation's Asia Pacific service, the documentary was cut short by CITV soon after central authorities in China were quoted as estimating there would be as many as 10 million patients by 2010.

China has recently become the Cook Islands second largest aid donor.

Concerns have been expressed about how little is known in Rarotonga about China and its motives for aid.

"Beijing is good! The Communist Party is good!" said one Chinese man in the rest of the documentary, but branding lower level officials as "traitors, thieves, killers!"

CITV has not yet made any comment on why the documentary was cut short.



PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

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