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
Ideal buys for a village Christmas
Christmas is upon us. Thinking about taking a trip to the village? What do you buy, what do you leave behind?...
EAC leaders meet over Northern Corridor projects
Regional Heads of State have met in Nairobi, Kenya to discuss Northern Corridor Integration projects....
Government to renovate remand homes
The Government has secured sh3b to renovate the remand homes in the country, the state minister for youth Ronald Kibuule has revealed....
Museveni asks Dubai Ports’ boss to invest here
President Museveni has invited the Chairman of Dubai Port World (DPW) Sultan Ahamed bin Sulayem to invest in Uganda....
Kutesa calls for ‘collective action’ on climate change
Tackling the devastating effects of climate change will require collective action and a new global plan....
Kasiwukira: DPP obtains evidence to pin suspects
The State has gathered enough evidence to pin the suspects in the murder of Kasiwukira....
Do you agree with the ban on the export of maids?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter