Friday, July 11, 2008

China Targeting AIDS Activists

The Beijing Olympics are just around the corner next month and the Chinese Government is cracking down on anyone they perceive as a "threat"- including people organizing around HIV/AIDS or other STDs:

Wan Yanhai, an outspoken, pioneering AIDS activist, plans to leave Beijing in August. He said authorities have put dozens of AIDS activists under house arrest or surveillance. Since late May, he has been repeatedly followed by police cars, sometimes 24 hours a day.

"This year people have already become very careful and not many people are organizing large activities," he said.

Two Web sites for people with AIDS were temporarily shut down in March and electronic bulletin boards for sites dealing with HIV and AIDS have also been closed down, activists said.

If you're trying to present yourself to the world as a modern, forward looking country, this is not the way to do it.