Angola: Parliament OKs AIDS bill

By a unanimous vote on June 24, Angola’s Parliament approved legislation outlining measures for prevention, control, treatment and investigation of HIV/AIDS, Angola Press Agency reported.

The measure establishes the right of people living with HIV/AIDS to receive free public health assistance, employment, professional training, and to have information about their health status kept confidential. The law also calls on AIDS patients to be responsible in their sexual conduct and to inform partners of their status.

The new law, passed nearly a year after a previous proposal was defeated, was initiated by women Members of Parliament.

Also passed were laws to protect aquatic resources and to improve health and safety of industrial workers.

Israel: Ex-soldiers open exhibit on harassment

A group of recently demobilized Israeli soldiers opened an exhibit in Tel Aviv earlier this month, documenting the Israeli military’s mistreatment of Palestinians. Ninety photos taken by soldiers serving in the West Bank city of Hebron, show Palestinian detainees, blindfolded and handcuffed, and Jewish children playing in the empty streets of a town where Palestinians have faced extended curfews, the Palestinian website Miftah.org said.

The exhibit also featured video testimony from 29 Israeli soldiers who described incidents of mistreatment and abuse of Palestinian residents of Hebron.

Last week the Israeli military confiscated the video and called five ex-soldiers in for questioning. The exhibit remains open, and the military authorities claim they took the video to investigate the abuses it described. But the ex-soldiers say the military is trying to shut them up and to keep others from speaking out.

The main person behind the project is an ultra-Orthodox Jew, 21-year-old Yehuda Shaul, who drew former military comrades into the project after he finished his compulsory service. He and the other four soldiers questioned told the authorities about their activities but refused to identify the others who testified for the video.

The exhibit, which has been attracting hundreds of visitors each day, is slated to be displayed at Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset.

Honduras: Teachers block roads for pay hike

Thousands of teachers blocked sections of Honduras’ major highways June 24 to press their demands that the government fulfill its financial and legal obligations to the country’s educators under a 1997 law, the EFE news agency reported.

The teachers set up blockades on highways leaving the capital city, Tegucigalpa, in all four directions, greatly slowing traffic in and out of the city.

Their main requests include payment for years of service and grade level, de-politicization of the educational system, and payment for days deducted from their salaries as a result of the protest. The government claims it cannot live up to the 1997 law because it lacks the funds.

International Notes are compiled by Marilyn Bechtel (mbechtel@pww.org).

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