Towns
China airline sued for rejecting HIV+ passengers
Publish Date: Aug 15, 2014
China airline sued for rejecting HIV+ passengers
One of Spring Airlines planes. AFP Getty image
  • mail
  • img
newvision

BEIJING - Two HIV-positive passengers and a friend are suing a Chinese airline for refusing to let them on board, in the country's first such lawsuit, state media has reported.


The pair planned to travel from Shenyang in the northeast to Shijiazhuang, south of Beijing, but were barred from the Spring Airlines plane after they informed staff of their status, the Global Times said.


The two, along with an HIV-negative travelling companion, were told that their tickets had been cancelled.


All three sued the budget airline, accusing it of discrimination and demanding an apology as well as compensation of 48,999 yuan ($8,000), the paper said.


A Shenyang court accepted the case, making it the first lawsuit against an airline for discriminating against an HIV-positive person in China, it added.


"The court's acceptance of this case signalled that HIV carriers can protect their rights through legal channels," it quoted plaintiff Cheng Shuaishuai as saying.


China has a long history of discrimination against those with HIV.


It bans them from becoming civil servants, and they face the possibility of losing their jobs if their employers discover their status, while some have sought hospital treatment only to be turned away.


China only lifted a long-standing ban on HIV-positive foreigners entering the country in 2010.


In recent years top officials have begun speaking more openly about HIV prevention and control, but discrimination remains an issue, with campaign groups and international organisations saying widespread stigmatisation has complicated efforts to curb the spread of the virus.


Under Chinese law air carriers can deny transport to infectious patients, people with mental illness or passengers whose health condition may endanger others or themselves.


Liu Wei, the plaintiffs' lawyer, said that did not mean Spring Airlines had the right to reject the trio, as there was no evidence their presence on board would infect anyone else.


The airline's president Wang Zhenghua told a Chinese media outlet Tuesday that the company did not discriminate against HIV carriers, and blamed the incident on staff anxiety.


But he also blamed the passengers, and said the firm would not deny HIV-positive travellers transport in future, as long as they did not make themselves "overly noticeable" to avoid scaring other customers.


His comments provoked criticism online, with one user of China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo posting: "This fundamentally trampled on human rights."


AFP

Related Stories


Uganda launches first stigma index survey report

Address stigma among HIV positive mothers

Access to HIV care services closer and affordable in stigma-free settings

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Woman dumps
A 22-year-old woman in Mbale turned herself in to police after reportedly dumping her newly-born baby in a bush....
Rwandans held in Uganda over ‘counterfeit’ products
Three Rwandan nationals were arrested in a Ugandan suburb over suspected counterfeit products, but later release on bond Friday....
Anaka Town Council passes sh398m budget
ANAKA Town Council in Nwoya district on Thursday passed a budget estimate for the 2015/16 financial year worth over sh398m...
Three killed in Mayuge and Luuka districts
TWO people were killed on Tuesday night by unknown assailants in separate incidents in Mayuge and Luuka districts...
ARUA district council on Thursday approved a budget amounting to over sh52b for the coming financial, year up from sh47b in the financial year 2014/15...
Slum dwellers sensitized on land rights
THE call comes after many women have been battered by their husbands over land but, have not reported to the police since they are ignorant on land rights...
Should medical students be subjected to pre-admission exams?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter