Chinese Authorities Show New Compassion in Wake of SARS

Courtesy of Gweilo Diaries, this shows us all that the post-SARS Chinese have wised up and now possess the maturity and compassion to deal with its ticking time bomb, the ballooning AIDS crisis.

Below is a cut and paste of Conrad’s entire post.

Mainland Government Infects, Robs, Attacks and Arrests AIDS Sufferers

Chinese police, accompanied by clubwielding “hired thugs”, raided the AIDS stricken village of Xiongqiao in Henan province, destroying property and beating up and arresting villagers.

Up to a million rural residents are believed to have contracted HIV after selling blood in unsanitary government-approved blood stations in the mid-1980s to mid-1990s.

The attack, which happened at 23:00on June 22, is the most extreme known case in central China’s Henan province of a police crackdown on farmers, who are devastated by an Aids outbreak and are demanding more government help.

The raid on Xiongqiao village highlights the government’s problem in dealing with a scandal involving HIV-tainted blood.

About 700 of the 3 000 residents in Xiongqiao have been diagnosed as HIV-positive, and 400 of them have developed Aids, said villagers.

Police officials in Shangcai county, Wulong township, where Xiongqiao village is located, confirmed 13 farmers had been detained and that three others arrested separately were also being held.

They said the villagers were arrested for robbery and because they had attacked government offices – including the township government office, police station and the county’s communist party office.

They did not say what the villagers were meant to have stolen.

“Their actions constitute a violation of laws. They will be charged with robbery and attacking state offices,” said an official in the Shangcai county police station’s criminal division.

Police also confirmed “many” officers went to the village that night, but did not offer details.

Relatives and several farmers in the village, still sounding shaken by the incident, said 500 to 600 uniformed officers, said to be anti-riot police, and plainclothes men, believed to be hired thugs, raided the village that night.

“They turned off the electricity and cut the telephone lines…

“They smashed windows and broke televisions,” said a man whose mother-in-law was in hospital after being hit in the upper arm.

“They broke down doors and started beating people with clubs, not caring who they were hitting. They even hit children,” said a woman from the village who declined to be identified.

“Some farmers ran. Some farmers just wanted to know what was going on and they were beaten, too,” said another farmer from a neighbouring village.

Farmers gave varying reasons on why the police took such strong actions.

One woman said farmers had repeatedly gone to government offices in groups to complain because local officials had not issued monthly government subsidies for AIDS patients to buy medicine.

Some farmers also refused to turn over portions of their harvest as required.

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