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AIDS activist
charged with genocide

AIDS activist
charged with genocide

Treatment Action Campaign founder and HIV activist Zackie Achmat has been charged with genocide by Anthony Brink of the Treatment Information Group, an organization that condemns the use of antiretroviral drugs. In the charges brought forth on January 4, Brink accuses Achmat with the poisoning of thousands in South Africa from the use of antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV, reports South Africa's Daily Dispatch.

In the 59-page indictment filed with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, TIG holds Achmat and TAC responsible for these deaths.

"Recent research cited in the complaint [submitted at The Hague] demonstrates [antiretrovirals] are killing thousands of people in South Africa," Brink told the Daily Dispatch. "TAC leader Zackie Achmat correctly claims personal responsibility for getting these drugs into the public-health system and, accordingly, is personally criminally culpable for the deadly consequences.

The case has become a controversial benchmark because it is seen as a difference of opinion. Brink receives funding from Dr. Matthias Rath, who favors vitamin usage in lieu of drugs for the treatment of HIV, while TAC has been a public advocate for treating HIV with medication use.

Achmat has refused comment; however, an employee of TAC issued a statement. "We're ignoring it because we're dealing with more important tasks--that is, to support the country's efforts to develop new strategic plans to save lives," said general secretary Sipho Mthathi. (The Advocate)

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