Officials sentenced, removed for dereliction
Two public health officials in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region have been found guilty of malpractice, which led to 11 people contracting the HIV/AIDS virus.
Li Zhanping, former director of the Qingshuihe County Public Health Bureau, was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for five years.
His former deputy Yang Fei also received three years, but it was suspended for four years.
Li and Yang's violation of the nation's blood donation law and the regulation for the clinical use of blood led to the 11 contracting HIV/AIDS.
A hospital in the county illegally collected and provided blood to about 30 patients for transfusions, and carried out various blood tests during the course of about a year from November 27, 1999.
The 11 were among those who had a transfusion.
The spouses of two of the 11 were later infected and one of them died.
The hospital had been banned from doing anti-body tests for hepatitis C, AIDS and syphilis due to a lack of screening procedures. But it continued to do so illegally.
Li and Yang, during their tenure at the health authority, did not stop the hospital from doing so, although they were fully aware of the situation.
Their penalties were made in accordance with Article 397 of the Criminal Law of China, which covers malpractice.
Wang Xiaoling, former president of the hospital, Zhang Jun, former vice-president, and three others associated with the hospital have been charged with dereliction of duty.
They are yet to appear before the court.
In another development, three senior Public Security Bureau officials in Haicheng, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, have been removed from their posts for failing to crack down on gambling.
When provincial-level police raided Zhisheng Recreation Town, a gambling house in the city on January 26, they found a well-organized and packed gambling house in full swing.
Bai Yuexian, in charge of discipline inspection under the Liaoning Provincial Public Security Bureau, described the case as typical, grave and alarming.
Officers rounded up 91 people, including two organizers and 18 service staff and confiscated 82 gambling machines and 92,000 yuan (US$11,220).
In the past two years, the illegal gambling venue, which extends to 1,500 square metres, has been running a gambling operation.
The smashing of what was described as a major gambling house has not gone unnoticed by the provincial government.
They have issued a directive that both those behind the gambling and those taking part be severely punished, and relevant city heads and police be dealt with accordingly.
Provincial public security authorities accused the Haicheng security forces of failing in their duty.
Consequently, the chief, political commissar and the deputy chief in charge of security at Haicheng Public Security Bureau have all been removed from their posts.
The moves are all part of an intensified fight against gambling in the province launched on January 19.
As the biggest and toughest anti-gambling campaign in 55 years, its aim is to curb the rampant gambling activities prevalent across the province and improve social and economic order.
Li Wenxi, head of the Liaoning Provincial Public Security Bureau, has called for all levels of law enforcement to step up efforts to stamp out gambling.
(China Daily 02/02/2005 page3)