BEIJING (AFP) – A property developer in China reportedly hired a group of people with HIV to harass residents into leaving their homes, sparking anger from the country’s Internet users on Tuesday.
The case is the latest to highlight widespread discrimination in China against people living with HIV and AIDS.
It also underscores the unscrupulous lengths to which some real estate firms and officials will go to evict residents in a country where reselling land can provide big dividends for local governments.
“The obscene tactics of demolition teams emerge in innumerable succession,” one user of Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, wrote Tuesday. “The government departments definitely knew about this, they’re just pretending they didn’t,” wrote another.
According to a report late Monday by state broadcaster China Central Television, a property developer in the central Chinese city of Nanyang hired six people with HIV in an effort to force local residents from a housing compound set for demolition.
Li Gejun, deputy head of the propaganda office in Wolong, a district of Nanyang, told CCTV that the Yi’an Real Estate Company hired the patients “in order to achieve its goal of speedy demolition”. Footage by the broadcaster showed the words “AIDS demolition team” spray-painted in red on many of the compound’s walls.