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AIDS-infected Criminal Suspect Detained in Hubei

A 24-year-old man who had rampantly committed offenses and evaded the law using his status as an AIDS sufferer was finally reined in and detained in a special cell in Hubei Province.


The man was put into a single cell created just for him in the suburbs of Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, on Oct. 28. More than 70,000 yuan (approximately US$8,400) went into construction of the cell, according to sources with the Wuhan Public Security Bureau.


The sources noted that Liu, the suspect, became a drug addict a decade ago. While receiving rehabilitation in 1999, he was found to have been infected with AIDS.


Liu's drug habit consumed almost all the property of his family, of which his parents were both laid-off workers. Liu then resorted to stealing, robbery and all kinds of approaches to obtain money to meet his addiction, said Guo Ziqin, a policeman in Liu's neighborhood.


AIDS infection only made him more unscrupulous and rampant in his criminal offenses, said a former official of the neighborhood committee.


Local police said Liu had been detained a couple of times for his criminal offenses, but was released soon afterwards for the lack of an appropriate cell to keep him in. When he was sent to a hospital of infectious diseases, he threatened the medical staff with a syringe filled with his blood.


According to local police, Liu had stolen around 60 or 70 motorcycles. In his latest offenses, he robbed a farm vehicle driver and a taxi driver on the night of Sept. 14.


He also repeatedly harassed the neighborhood and kept asking for money from the neighborhood committee. Residents in the neighborhood feared his existence and urged the police to immediately do something about it, naming Liu a "terrorist", according to staff and residents of the neighborhood committee.


Local police cited the detainment as the first of its kind in the country, which may serve as a reference for later crackdown on AIDS-infected criminal suspects.


(Xinhua News Agency November 12, 2003)


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