[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Saturday, 25 November 2006, 12:04 GMT
Chinese Aids activist 'missing'
A couple in front of an Aids awareness poster in Beijing
Rights groups have accused Beijing of harassing Aids activists
A prominent Chinese Aids campaigner, Wan Yanhai, has gone missing after being questioned by police in the capital, Beijing, his office has said.

Mr Wan has not been heard from since Friday, his advocacy group Aizhi, said in a statement.

Mr Wan is one of China's best-known Aids campaigners and has criticised the government's response to the spread of the disease.

In 2002 he was held for three weeks and accused of disclosing state secrets.

Phone call

Aizhi said police questioned Mr Wan at its offices in Beijing on Friday.

He ordered workers to cancel plans for an Aids symposium scheduled for Sunday, and has not been heard of since a brief telephone call to a colleague on Friday night.

"The colleague asked Wan Yanhai his whereabouts, and Wan Yanhai replied that he was being questioned," the statement said.

"Since then, his colleagues and family have lost contact with Wan Yanhai."

The group said Wan Yanhai had told colleagues on Friday to ensure than any participants who had come to Beijing for the symposium returned home.

Human rights groups have accused the Chinese government of harassing Aids activists working in the country.

In the past couple of years, Beijing has taken a more open approach to the fight against Aids after years of denying there was a problem.

China is thought to have about one million people with HIV.

The United Nations says that without immediate action to educate the public, China could have 10 million people with HIV by the end of the decade.


SEE ALSO
China's HIV/Aids cases jump 30%
22 Nov 06 |  Asia-Pacific
China Aids activists 'harassed'
15 Jun 05 |  Asia-Pacific
China releases Aids activist
20 Sep 02 |  Asia-Pacific
Chinese Aids activist goes missing
29 Aug 02 |  Asia-Pacific

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific