11 HIV-Positive People Allegedly Beaten, Detained in China After Protesting Lack of Compensation
Chinese police on April 5 allegedly beat, shocked and detained 11 HIV-positive people who were protesting in front of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, according to Beijing-based HIV advocate Wan Yanhai of the Aizhixing Institute, the AP/International Herald Tribune reports.
According to Wan, the protesters were seeking compensation from the hospital, where they contracted HIV through tainted blood in the mid-1990s, and were hoping to attract Wen's attention. The protesters were beaten with clubs, shocked with electric prods and sprayed in the face with a substance that caused them to become unconscious, Wan said. They were then taken to a hospital and detained.
Wang Weijun, a friend of the protesters, said three women later were released after they agreed to drop their complaint against the government and not discuss the incident. The other protesters -- six men and two women -- did not agree to the conditions, Wang said. An unidentified man who answered the phone at the Shahe police department on Thursday said he did not have information about the incident.
According to Wan, the Shahe local court has refused to accept the group's case against the hospital, and the local government has not supported them despite making a pledge to do so. Although the Chinese government has acknowledged responsibility for HIV cases that were transmitted through tainted blood, many HIV-positive people who contracted the virus through blood transfusions have had difficulty receiving compensation, the AP/Herald Tribune reports (AP/International Herald Tribune, 4/10).