Sunday, 9 May 2010
AIDS ACTIVIST DEPORTED AFTER MEETING YVONNE CHAKA CHAKA
Nine well connected AIDS activists were deported from Tanzania minutes after meeting up with South African singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka.
The nine were protesting on the decreasing funding for HIV at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Dar es Salaam.
"We met with Yvonne Chaka Chaka and gave her our memorandum to present to the leaders attending the WEF; shortly thereafter we were arrested," Bactrin Killingo of the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC), told IRIN/PlusNews on Friday. "We spent four or five hours at the police station making statements, after which we were escorted to our hotels to collect our belongings and then to the airport, where we were deported." None of the activists, who were from a variety of African countries, were charged. A planned national workers' union strike prompted Tanzanian President Jakaya Kiwete to cancel all demonstrations this week. "We had received permission to hold the demonstration [on May 5], but later received a letter cancelling it ... Only ten of us delivered the memorandum - it was not a demonstration," Killingo said.
Among those detained were: Paula Akugizibwe and Lynette Mabote from the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa; James Kayo and Netsayi Dzinoreva from the ITPC; Linda Mafu and Soraya Matthews from the World AIDS Campaign; Sydney Hushie from the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS; and Michael O’Connor from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Tanzanian government officials were not available for comment.