Group Warns China on Website Shutdown

From the Financial Times:

The Chinese government’s recent crackdown on civil rights groups may backfire and incite protests during the Beijing Olympics, warned Lu Jun, who ran a popular website for hepatitis B carriers shut down last month.

Beijing blocked access within China to “In the Hepatitis B Camp,” a popular website and online forum for carriers of the virus and which was the world’s biggest such forum with over 300,000 members. China’s 120m carriers of the virus are widely discriminated against by companies, universities and some government departments, even though the virus cannot be spread through casual contact.

Mr Lu, who heads a rights group that has helped carriers sue companies such as IBM and Foxconn for discrimination, said the website was a gathering place for sufferers who had little other opportunity to vent their frustrations or find support from doctors and fellow patients. By shutting it down, the Chinese government risked pushing patients to take drastic actions, Mr Lu said.

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