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Open Letter Calling for the Release of Tian Xi

To: Mr. Wang Jingfeng,
Head, Xincai County Government
Mr. Bian Fenglu,
Director, Xincai County Department of Public Security
CC: Premier Wen Jiabao

September 16, 2010, New York, NY, U.S.A.

We are writing to express our deep concern over the detention of Tian Xi, an AIDS activist in Xincai, Henan. The Xincai government’s unfair treatment of Tian has garnered international attention, and we join a growing number of organizations, including Amnesty International, in calling for Tian’s immediate release.

Since 2004, Tian has been fighting for the rights of people infected with HIV/AIDS through blood transfusions. He himself contracted HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C through a transfusion at a government-run hospital when he was nine years old. His constant petitioning in the last six years has reportedly embarrassed and angered Xincai authorities, who decided to repress his advocacy by detaining him using trumped-up charges, according to reports in the Associated Press, the Washington Post, and South China Morning Post.

Before his detention, Tian had shared with fellow activists evidence from the county government that they wanted to stop his activism. In a document supplied by Aizhixing, a leading HIV/AIDS advocacy group in Beijing, county officials report difficulties in their “control” over his petitioning and ask for the police department to “interfere.” We find this interference of his human rights work unacceptable and ask that you not only release him, but also assist him in receiving his deserved compensation under Chinese law regarding his HIV infection.

The international AIDS community is watching the case of Tian Xi. We call for his immediate release and the end of harassment against all activists working to protect the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Sincerely,
AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, New York (ACT UP New York)
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click HERE for pdf of the letter