KYOTO – An HIV-positive man being held at a detention center in Kyoto has filed a petition accusing the center of discriminatory treatment due to his medical condition, officials of a local bar association said Saturday.
The Kyoto Bar Association has started an investigation into the accusation, they said.
According to the petition, the man is in his 30s and has been held in solitary at the detention center in Kyoto’s Fushimi Ward since early February. Being held in solitary has enabled other people at the facility to determine his health status, he claims.
The petition says the man is forced to use a basin with “HIV” written on it, as well as use separate plates and utensils for meals, and that he must wash them and keep them to himself so they do not get mixed up with other inmates’ plates.
The center also makes him exercise by himself, it says.
“I can’t take it any more. This kind of discriminatory treatment still occurs in places (such as detention centers) that are separated from society,” the man wrote in the petition, according to the officials of the bar association.
“It will be a serious abuse of human rights if the allegations are true, as HIV cannot be spread just by contact in daily life with people who have HIV,” an official said.
The bar association has not disclosed the name of the man or what he has been charged with.
The man submitted the allegations to the human rights protection committee of the association on June 1, and the committee considered them when it met with him at the end of June.
The committee also plans to discuss the matter with the detention center.
Masayuki Kinugawa, manager of the detention center’s general affairs section, said he cannot say if the allegations are true or not because the matter involves personal information.
The center has the responsibility of supervising a large number of people, so sometimes it has to separate some who are infected with highly contagious diseases, Kinugawa said. He added that he is aware HIV cannot be spread through contact in daily life.