Chinese police have banned a conference involving haemophiliac activists and are believed to be holding one of the main organisers for questioning, a source close to the organisers said on Saturday.
The conference, “Blood safety, AIDS and Human Rights”, was organised by the Beijing Aizhixing Institute of Health Education and was to take place in Beijing on Saturday, the source said.
The activist involved is the prominent AIDS activist Wan Yanhai, who is also the founder of the Aizhixing Institute. The Guardian explains some of the background:
Aizhi has pushed at the boundaries of how NGOs are allowed to operate in a one-party state. Earlier this month, it sued the government after a police raid on a sauna frequented by homosexuals; it has supported haemophiliacs in a class-action lawsuit against the authorities and it organised the symposium, which would have featured speakers from Britain and elsewhere passing on information about how to mount a legal challenge against the state.
Wan, a former Health Ministry bureaucrat, has been an outspoken critic of the government’s handling of HIV and Aids. In 2002, he was arrested for passing on state secrets after revealing how entire villages in Henan province had been infected through blood sales.
Harassing activists isn’t a new tactic, and it seems that neither is beating their wives. In the course of our reading we also found this recent article in SFGate about being gay in rural China.
Photo of Wan Yanhai from SF Gate.com