World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


China: House Arrests Stifle HIV/AIDS Petitions

China: House Arrests Stifle HIV/AIDS Petitions

National People’s Congress Must Hear Victims’ Stories

(New York) – By imposing house arrest on potential petitioners to the National People’s Congress, the Chinese authorities are preventing people living with HIV/AIDS from seeking redress for a government blood sales scheme that left hundreds of thousands of people infected with HIV in Henan province, Human Rights Watch said today.

More than 20 Chinese civil society organizations reported that numerous people living with HIV/AIDS in Henan were put under house arrest to keep them from bringing their petitions to the Congress, which opened in Beijing on March 5. In the 23 cases documented, people have been confined to their homes and monitored around the clock by police outside their doors.

“People infected with HIV through unsafe practices at government clinics have routinely been denied medical treatment and compensation,” said Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch. “Now they can’t even tell their story to policymakers who might be able to help.”

Members of an organization of people living with HIV in Henan’s Ningling county were reportedly prevented from attending a training session on HIV-prevention strategies because they had been put under house arrest. Moreover, in Suiping county, the director of a home for children whose parents are ill or deceased from HIV/AIDS has had to close his orphanage because of his house arrest and find other ways to care for the children.

In the 1990s blood scheme, the Henan provincial authorities encouraged hundreds of thousands of low-income farmers to sell their blood, from which lucrative plasma was isolated and sold on the global market. To prevent anemia among those who donated blood frequently, the red cells left when the plasma was separated from the blood were pooled and re-injected into the donors’ arms without being screened for HIV or other blood-borne diseases.

Human Rights Watch reported in 2003 that while the earliest of these cases of HIV transmission were inadvertent, the provincial authorities continued the practice in some locations even after it was known that HIV and other diseases had been transmitted in this way http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/china0803/. Beijing acknowledged the problem in the late 1990s and ordered the phasing out of the blood collection centers, but many continued to operate. It is estimated that thousands of rural dwellers died, in some cases virtually wiping out whole villages.

“People with HIV/AIDS who are left untreated by the authorities face death sentences because they heeded the government’s call for blood,” said Joseph Amon, director of Human Rights Watch’s HIV/AIDS Program. “The current house arrests follow earlier reports of police abuse and arrest of people with HIV/AIDS in Henan who sought treatment and compensation.”

In December, Chinese national health officials met for the first time with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) seeking some assurance that those infected in the blood scheme would be compensated. No commitments were made, but when NGOs reported that the courts in Henan would not even hear cases of people with HIV/AIDS seeking compensation, Health Minister Gao Qiang was quoted in the international press as saying that the courts should admit those cases and make fair judgments.

“When U.N. officials and outside donors are listening, the Chinese authorities consistently pledge greater openness in dealing with HIV/AIDS,” said Adams. “But their actions tell a different story. The government is silencing those most able to lead China in an effective response to HIV/AIDS, the people who are living with the disease themselves.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news