China places AIDS activist under house arrest
A Chinese AIDS activist said Wednesday that authorities have placed him under house arrest to prevent him from traveling to an AIDS-affected village at the same time an American delegation would be visiting. Hu Jia said police began a round-the-clock watch on his Beijing home last weekend. At least six or seven officers are present all the time, he said. "When I tried to get out of my home on Monday, they physically stopped me," Hu said.
The activist said he had been hoping to meet with a U.S. delegation on Friday in Shangcai, a village in Henan province. Parts of Henan have some of the world's highest rates of HIV infection. Tens of thousands of people there were infected in the 1990s because of an unsanitary blood-buying industry, and in some villages nearly every family has a member with the virus. Hu, 30, said the police told his mother on Wednesday that they didn't want him to go to Henan and that they had arranged for him to go on a trip to the neighboring province of Anhui from May 29 to June 10. He said two officers would be accompanying him the whole time. Telephone calls to the Beijing Public Security Bureau for comment were not answered. (AP)