Friday, June 17, 2005

China Urged to Stop Harassing AIDS Workers

Facing Massive Epidemic, China Urged to Stop Harassing AIDS Workers

"- Chinese authorities should stop harassing AIDS activists and squelching discussion of the killer pandemic or its efforts to stop the disease will fail, a leading human rights watchdog said Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch, in a new report, urged the government in Beijing to lift restrictions on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working to raise awareness, prevention, and treatment of AIDS and the virus, HIV, that causes the disease.

''Grassroots organizations have direct experience that could greatly strengthen the country's fight against AIDS,'' Sara Davis, China researcher for Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. ''But in a number of regions, they face harassment, censorship and even beatings because the Chinese government is suspicious of any activity outside its direct control.''

China faces what could be one of the largest HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world, with Chinese and international experts predicting that more than 10 million Chinese may be infected with the human immune deficiency virus by 2010, the report said, citing U.N. projections. . . ."

[more at link above]


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