2 May 2012
On 1 March 2012, SECTION27 wrote to the organisers of the international AIDS Conference concerning severe human rights violations against our client, MR, on the basis of his HIV status. MR was unfairly dismissed by Al Jazeera English online (Al Jazeera) and detained in prison and subsequently deported from the State of Qatar (Qatar) because of his HIV status. SECTION27 has been engaging with both Qatar and Al Jazeera. Our demands include MR’s reinstatement by Al Jazeera and a public acknowledgement of the violations of his rights. We have requested that Al Jazeera be banned from participating in any way in the International AIDS Conference 2012 should these demands not be met. We received a response from the International AIDS Society stating that they take discrimination on the basis of HIV status seriously. They have written to Al Jazeera regarding the issues that we have raised and will continue to follow up on this issue. It is hoped that the organising partners of the International AIDS Conference will join other South African and international organisations in standing up against discrimination on the basis of HIV status, and take steps to condemn the human rights violations against MR.