China Cracks Down on AIDS Groups Ahead of Olympics – Tim Johnson

From McClatchy Newspapers:

Wary of exposing China’s flaws to the news media’s glare before next year’s Olympic Games, authorities are cracking down on groups that help AIDS victims and orphans, shuttering their offices and banning meetings and other gatherings.

In one case, an activist in Henan province, where the nation’s AIDS crisis hit early, said police ordered him out of his office on Thursday and suggested that he flee the area for his own safety. Six other volunteers in the group were detained.

…Some domestic activists said China’s leaders are clamping down because they worry that international media attention in the run-up to next summer’s Olympic Games will focus on aspects of China that leaders find embarrassing.

“They hope that there will be no unharmonious voices during the Olympics period,” said Hu Jia, an activist and co-founder of a nonprofit Beijing AIDS group. [Full text]

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