Human Rights Watch Calls for Release of Chinese AIDS Advocate Accused of Leaking Documents About Henan HIV/AIDS Epidemic
October 7, 2003
Human Rights Watch on Tuesday demanded the release of a Chinese health official reportedly convicted of distributing a restricted government report on a blood-selling scandal that spread HIV in China's Henan province, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports (Anthony, AP/Long Island Newsday, 10/6). Chinese officials in August arrested Ma Shiwen, deputy director of the Henan Center for Disease Control, for allegedly leaking documents about the scandal to the HIV/AIDS advocacy group Aizhi Action, according to Aizhi Action Director Wan Yanhai. As many as two million HIV-positive individuals who were infected through unsafe blood collection practices may live in Henan province, according to the China AIDS Solidarity Network, a group of mainly U.S.-based public health experts (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/20). The Chinese government initially tried to cover up the blood-selling scandal when it was reported by Chinese papers in 2000, according to Agence France-Presse (Agence France-Presse, 10/6). Ma's arrest was at least the second legal action involving the report. Last year Wan was released after being held for nearly one month by state security agents who claimed that he leaked official secrets by distributing the same report. Ma earlier this year had been arrested and released for the same charges (AP/Long Island Newsday, 10/6).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.