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HIV Protesters Beaten When Trying to Protest in Front of China's Premier

Positive Effect | 16.04.2008 02:02 | Health | Social Struggles | World

Eleven HIV patients who sought to call the attention of China's premier to their plight were attacked last Saturday by police, according to a Beijing activist.

Wan Yanhai of the Aizhixing Institute said the 11 were attempting to protest in front of a government building in Shahe, a town outside Beijing, during a visit by Premier Wen Jiabao. The patients acquired HIV through tainted blood transfusions in the mid-1990s, and they had hoped Wen could help them get compensation from the hospital where the infections occurred. A local court has refused to hear their case, Wan said, and the local government had reneged on a promise to help them.

Wan said the patients were beaten with clubs, shocked with electric prods, sprayed with a substance that made them pass out, and then taken into custody.

Three female detainees were later released after promising to drop their complaint against the government and not talk about the attack, said their friend Wang Weijun. The remaining eight, six men and two women, have refused to agree to these conditions, Wang said.

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