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Saturday 13 May 2006
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SOUTH AFRICA: Govt action urged on AIDS demonstration shooting

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 14 July (PLUSNEWS) - The international NGO, Human Rights Watch (HRW), has expressed concern over the South African police's use of rubber bullets and teargas against peaceful anti-AIDS demonstrators in the Eastern Cape this week.

At least forty members of the local AIDS lobby group, Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), were injured during protests against the provincial health department's slow rollout of antiretroviral drugs at public health facilities.

Jonathan Cohen, a researcher with HRW's HIV/AIDS Programme, said in a statement: "It's a shocking irony that people demonstrating for essential medicines should be met with rubber bullets and teargas. South Africa should be easing the suffering of people living with HIV/AIDS, not violently dispersing peaceful demonstrations."

HRW has called on the government to immediately investigate the actions of the police.



Recent SOUTH AFRICA Reports
New sexual offences bill fails to protect rape survivors,  9/May/06
Positive immigrants,  2/May/06
Small clinic at centre of debate over traditional medicine,  1/May/06
Refugees fall through the cracks in free treatment,  28/Apr/06
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 280, 21 April 2006,  21/Apr/06
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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