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Zimbabwe AIDS activist demands medication for prisoners

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An HIV-positive Zimbabwean man who was denied medication while detained on treason charges last year has launched a legal battle for prisoners to be allowed access to ARVs, his lawyer said Monday.

In a landmark case, Douglas Muzanenhamo, who was infected 18 years ago, wants an end to the ill-treatment of prisoners who are sometimes denied access to medical facilities of their choice and medicine from family while in custody.

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Muzanenhamo was refused access to the life-prolonging anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) in 2011 after his arrest along with 44 other rights activists on allegations of plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe.

The activists had been attending a meeting to talk about lessons from the so-called Arab Spring and were accused of scheming to overthrow Mugabe, who has been in power since independence in 1980.

“What we are asking them is that they should take direct and immediate measures to protect people with HIV or AIDS in prisons or when they are arrested,” Tawanda Zhuwarara, Muzanenhamo’s lawyer told AFP.

Zhuwarara said the case is the first of its kind trying to seek dignity in the treatment of people who are HIV-positive in Zimbabwean prisons.

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In his affidavit to the Supreme Court, Muzanenhamo said he was kept in ghastly conditions and was denied permission to take his medication.

“I was made to sleep on the hard concrete slab in the cell. It was not just cold and inhuman but the cells were also filthy and had human excreta and dried blood all over the place.”

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His treatment at the hand of prisoners worsened his condition, he continued.

“I was subjected to cold baths and the diet was not appropriate for a person with HIV. We were fed with stale bread, black tea, sadza (cornmeal porridge) and beans,” he said.

“It was hardly a balanced diet suitable for a person living with HIV and on ARVs. There were no fruits, vegetables, milk or peanut butter which are now essential elements of my diet.”

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“The conditions I was placed in placed my life in real mortal danger. I cannot fend off infection in the same way a healthy human being can. My immune system is compromised.”

Zimbabwe’s jails have been condemned by rights groups as unfit for human habitation.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump Twitter-rages at ‘evil propaganda machine’ New York Times

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President Donald Trump kicked off his Sunday morning by going on a multi-tweet rant about the New York Times where he blamed them for his poor poll numbers and called them "an evil propaganda machine.'

Trump began with, "The Failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from their Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt....., " before adding, "'Journalism' has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke...But the public is aware! #CROOKEDJOURNALISM."

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Trump suggests hitting France with 100 percent tariff on wine over dispute with Macron

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According to a report from Bloomberg, President Donald Trump publicly suggested that he would consider a 100 percent tariff on wines coming from France.

The report states that the president recently made the suggestion as part of his trade war that has crippled American manufacturers and farmers while at the same time hitting American consumers' wallets.

Trump's comments came during a recent Long Island fundraiser and were tied to his unhappiness with President Emmanuel Macron and his tax on multinational technology companies.

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Gun found in FedEx package sent from US to China

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Chinese authorities have found at least one firearm in a FedEx package sent from the US, local police said Sunday, in the latest incident to befall the logistics firm in China.

Police in Fuzhou, eastern Fujian province, said "in recent days" they had received a tip about a package sent to a Fujian-based sporting goods company.

The parcel was sent by a US client and contained at least one firearm, said Jin'an district police through their official Twitter-like Weibo account.

The firearm has been seized and officers are investigating, they added, without specifying the number of weapons in the package.

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