USA (Guantanamo): medical letter writing action: Further information on Haitian asylum-seekers (see AMR 51/05/93, 2 February)
There are currently 213 HIV-positive asylum-seekers with 39 dependents, who are being kept at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo, Cuba. Although the US immigration authorities have accepted they have a plausible claim for refugee status, they have received no assurances that they will not be sent back to Haiti, and are being excluded from entry to mainland USA solely on the basis of their HIV status, in contravention of human rights standards. Conditions at the base are poor, due to the holding of a large number of affected individuals in such close proximity, the potential hygeine problems and the lack of adequate medical care. Early in 1993 they went on a hunger-strike for six weeks, and in March, during protests after attempted escapes, 12 of the 47 camp huts were reported burned.
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