SECTION27 is a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights. Our name is drawn from the section in the South African Constitution which enshrines everyone's right to health care, food, water and social security.
Yesterday, March 1st 2011, a memorandum was sent to the highest officials in the UN, UNAIDS, WHO and the Chinese government. It is signed by more than 120 organisations, from across the world, including many within China. It is signed by prominent individuals, human rights organisations and trade unions, including the powerful two million member COSATU.
RELEASE CHINESE AIDS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST TIAN XI
We the undersigned international AIDS and human rights organizations are deeply concerned by the sentencing of young Chinese HIV/AIDS activist Tian Xi to one year in prison in China. Tian Xi is a courageous advocate for the thousands of people infected with HIV through China’s blood disaster, who now demand government accountability. We call for Tian Xi’s immediate release and for a national compensation plan for the thousands of victims of the blood disaster.
Today, SECTION27, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), the Gay and Lesbian Equality Project and COSATU hosted a joint rally outside the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria to demand the immediate release of Tian Xi and other human rights defenders wrongly imprisoned in China. Tian Xi, an AIDS and human rights activist who has been imprisoned since 6 August 2010, was infected with HIV as a child during a surgical operation – a common event in China at the time – and has been actively campaigning for the rights of people so infected to receive compensation from the Chinese government.
In a show of solidarity and to commemorate World AIDS Day, the Treatment Action Campaign, SECTION27, COSATU and others will be staging a protest on 1 December 2010 at the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria to demand the immediate release of Chinese AIDS activist, Tian Xi and other Human Rights activists detained in China.
Date: 1 December 2010
Where: Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, 972 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, 0083, Pretoria
On Monday 5th July Mark Heywood, the director of SECTION27, was one of the keynote speakers at the launch of China’s first ever forum between the Chinese government and civil society representatives to talk about human rights issues linked to HIV/AIDS. The China Red Ribbon Beijing Forum as it is known was opened by the Vice Minister of Health, Yin Li, UNAIDS and a person living with HIV. Heywood spoke on the importance of engagement between government and civil society on issues of human rights.