Abusing the User:Police Misconduct, Harm Reduction and HIV/AIDS in Vancouver
An anti-drug crackdown by the Vancouver Police Department has driven injection drug users away from life-saving HIV prevention services, raising fears of a new wave of HIV transmission in the city that is already home to the worst AIDS crisis in the developed world, said Human Rights Watch. In a 25-page report released today, "Abusing the User: Police Misconduct, Harm Reduction and HIV/AIDS in Vancouver," Human Rights Watch documents instances of unnecessary force and mistreatment, arbitrary arrest, and other intimidation and harassment of drug users as part of a campaign commonly referred to as Operation Torpedo. The crackdown began on April 7 in the city's impoverished Downtown Eastside neighborhood. Though drug traffickers are the ostensible target, drug users not charged with selling drugs have been driven to places where health workers cannot reach them to ensure access to sterile syringes and other HIV prevention services.
- 2003 Human Rights Watch
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