H.I.V. Discrimination Law Fails in Chinese Court

A court in China has ruled against a plaintiff who claimed he was discriminated against in a job application because of his positive HIV status. From the New York Times:

The man who filed the lawsuit, a 22-year-old college graduate, had already passed a battery of written tests and an interview when a mandatory blood test revealed his H.I.V. status, prompting the local education bureau in the eastern city of Anqing to reject his application.

“I’m heartbroken,” said the man, who used the alias Xiao Wu in legal papers to protect his identity. “I just wanted to find some justice for me and for others facing the same problem.”

Lawyers for the man said they would appeal.

In his ruling, the judge agreed with the education bureau’s contention that regulations barring H.I.V.-infected civil servants trump a four-year-old national law that was supposed to protect people with the virus from the prejudice of employers. That measure, passed by the State Council, the government’s chief administrative body, states that “no institution or individual shall discriminate against people living with H.I.V., AIDS patients and their relatives.”

Li Fangping, a lawyer who argued Xiao Wu’s case during a three-hour trial last month, said the judge’s decision defied logic. “It’s an example of how the legal system enhances and expands discrimination against people who are H.I.V. positive,” he said.

Also related, the Guardian reports that a group founded by imprisoned activist Hu Jia which works with AIDS orphans and patients is being closed following pressure from tax authorities:

Beijing Loving Source worked with the United Nations and Oxfam on projects to promote Aids education and care in rural areas.

Hu’s wife, Zeng Jinyan, announced the group’s closure in a posting on her website.

Zeng said she could not forget the “profound lessons” from the closure in 2009 of legal aid group Gongmeng, which took on some of China’s most politically sensitive cases. The Beijing tax bureau fined Gongmeng 1.4m yuan (£130,000) for failing to pay taxes – widely seen as a dramatic move to restrain the country’s activist lawyers.

Now the same tax bureau is pressuring Beijing Loving Source for a detailed audit, Zeng said.

She said the bureau did not usually concern itself with groups as small as her husband’s.

November 12, 2010 2:15 PM
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Categories: Law, Society