Category Archives: Part 6: Who support them?


Completes a third of his jail sentence

Network of Sakharov laureates does not forget one of its own.

Hu Jia, the winner of the European Parliament’s 2008 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, complete today a third of his sentence of three and a half years in prison for “inciting subversion of state authority.”

The members of the Sakharov Network, which groups past winners of the Sakharov Prize, reiterate their support for their colleague, who is being unjustly held by the Chinese authorities. “We express our concern and sympathy for our Chinese friend, his wife Zeng Jinyan and their young daughter,” the network said. “We also express our solidarity with all political prisoners in China and their families.” [continues…]


Statement from US Senate Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Statement from US Senate Speaker Nancy Pelosi

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the
following statement today on the European Parliament’s decision to award the
Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Hu Jia, a Chinese human rights
activist currently imprisoned by the Chinese government.

Since 1988, the Sakharov Prize has been awarded to individuals or
organizations for their efforts on behalf of human rights and fundamental
freedoms and against oppression and injustice. Past recipients of the prize
have included Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma.

“The announcement that Hu Jia has been awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom
of Thought is welcome news for all those who fight for freedom and human
rights in China and Tibet. In addition to advancing human rights, Hu has
diligently worked to raise awareness of the needs of AIDS patients and
environmental protection – issues the Chinese government must acknowledge. The
European Parliament is to be commended for its bold decision.

“Hu Jia is in prison for criticizing the Chinese government’s record on human
rights, most recently, his call on the international community to hold Beijing
responsible for its promises to improve these rights before the 2008 Summer
Olympics. He is risking his life, family and freedom so he can speak the
truth. I call on the Chinese government to immediately and unconditionally
release Hu Jia from prison and to respect the fundamental freedoms of all the
people in China.”
SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House

A letter of calling for free Hujia

Press Invitation

Recently, The European Parliament has awarded its Sakahrov Prize for
Freedom of Thought to imprisoned Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia.
Pan democratic legislative councillors welcome this development and
will send a letter to President Hu Jintao, urging Beijing to release
Mr. Hu. The legislators will deliver the letter to the Chief Executive
Donald Tsang and ask him to  forward it to President Hu.


Date: 30 October 2008 (Thursday)
Time: 2:45pm
Venue: The Headquarters of Central Government Offices

Contact Person: Emily Lau (77703332)


E.U. Honors Jailed Chinese Dissident

Beijing Angered By Recognition Of AIDS Activist

Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, October 24, 2008; Page A14

SHANGHAI, Oct. 23 — The European Parliament on Thursday awarded its top human rights prize to jailed Chinese dissident Hu Jia despite warnings from China that its relations with the 27-nation bloc would be seriously damaged if it did so.

In selecting Hu to receive the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the European lawmakers said they are “sending out a signal of clear support to all those who support human rights in China.” Hu has advocated for the rights of Chinese citizens with HIV/AIDS and chronicled the arrest, detention and abuse of other activists.

The award honors Andrei Sakharov, a Soviet physicist and Nobel Peace Prize winner who was a leader in the country’s pro-democracy opposition party.

“Hu Jia is one of the real defenders of human rights in the People’s Republic of China,” European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering said in announcing the award.

When Hu was revealed earlier this month to be among the three finalists for the Sakharov Prize, China’s ambassador to the European Union, Song Zhe, sent a letter to Poettering asking him to use his influence to make sure Hu did not win. She said honoring Hu “would inevitably hurt the Chinese people and once again bring serious damage to China-EU relations.”

“Not recognizing China’s progress in human rights and insisting on confrontation will only deepen the misunderstanding between the two sides,” Song wrote.

Hu, 35, has been speaking out for the rights of Chinese since his college days, when he was active in several environmental organizations. In 2000, he began pushing for better treatment of people suffering from AIDS and orphans who lost parents to the disease. His efforts were focused on Henan province, where thousands were infected in the 1990s through unsafe blood transfusions. Hu has said that through his work on behalf of AIDS patients, he began to see larger abuses by the Chinese government and started to chronicle the harassment and detention of activists.

n the lead-up to the Olympics, Hu used the Internet to report on abuses related to preparations for the games. Chinese authorities arrested Hu at his home in Beijing in December on charges of subverting state authority through the articles he published online and through interviews with the foreign press.

In April, he was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison and has been in government custody ever since. Human rights groups have called for his release, saying that his arrest was politically motivated and that his trial did not follow due process.

Yu Jie, a writer whose banned books have challenged the Communist Party’s view on such controversial topics as the 1989 confrontations in Tiananmen Square, said that the E.U. took a bold stand Thursday that places human rights over politics in China.

“In the short-term, the bilateral relationship between the two will be intense because the Chinese government needs to protect its face,” Yu said.

Calls to the mobile phone of Zeng Jinyan, Hu’s wife, went unanswered Thursday, and the phone appeared to have been turned off.

n her most recent blog entry, dated Oct. 23, Zeng did not mention the award but provided a summary of her 30-minute meeting with her husband Wednesday. She said he still had not been allowed to take hot showers but had not been assigned to labor, and that he had been studying every day.

Her note on Sept. 25 was more emotional. “I learned that because Hu Jia had spoken about human rights with the other prisoners, on Aug. 13 he was placed in hand and foot shackles and held in solitary confinement for 24 hours,” she wrote.

Zeng went on to say that she confronted the prison guards about the situation, but they said that they had created “the most comfortable physical circumstances” for Hu because of his health. Hu suffers from liver disease and needs medication on a daily basis. She said she was urged to “to write about more felicitous aspects of society in my letters to my husband, so as to expedite his return to a normal life in society.”

Zeng, who has also been active in speaking out for human rights, and the couple’s infant daughter were taken from Beijing the day before the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympics on Aug. 8. They were allowed to return in early September.

When Hu’s name came up as a possible front-runner for the Nobel Peace Prize this month, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang called Hu a “criminal.”

Qin repeated similar remarks Thursday afternoon, saying of the Sakharov Prize decision that China expresses its “strong dissatisfaction and objection” and that it is a “plot to intervene in Chinese internal affairs.”

Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group, said the selection of Hu “sends a powerful message to the Chinese government.”

“Beijing pledged to improve human rights and to show the world a ‘harmonious society’ during the Olympics, but instead silenced and locked up peaceful rights defenders,” Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director for the group, said in a statement.

Researchers Zhang Jie and Liu Liu in Beijing contributed to this report.


Hu Jia wins European rights prize

From BBC Website:

One of China’s most prominent human rights activists, Hu Jia, has won the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

Mr Hu, a democracy, environment and Aids activist, is serving a jail term for inciting subversion of state power.

The parliament’s president said Mr Hu was “one of the real defenders of human rights” in China, and that the award would support Chinese activists.

Beijing has criticised the award as an interference in its internal affairs.

European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering said that by awarding the prize to Mr Hu, the parliament “firmly and resolutely acknowledges the daily struggle for freedom of all Chinese human rights defenders”. [continues…]

Other links about the award:

The Guardian


European Parlament

International Herald Tribune

Sakharov Prize 2008: three finalists chosen

Just an update from the post below, Hu Jia has been choosen as one of the 3 finalists for the Sakharov prize:

Hu Jia – Chinese campaigner for civil rights, environmental protection and AIDS advocacy. Following his testimony on human rights in China, given on 26 November 2007 via conference call to the EP’s Human Rights Subcommittee, Hu Jia was arrested, charged with “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ in jail.

Aleksandr Kozulin – Former presidential candidate in Belarus. According to the nomination, “Aleksandr Kozulin has shown great courage to withstand the regime’s actions and to fight for freedom of thought and expression and basic civil rights. In 2006, during the presidential campaign, he was beaten several times, detained and finally sentenced to five and a half years of imprisonment”.

Apollinaire Malu Malu – Chair of the Independent Electoral Commission of Democratic Republic of Congo. The nomination praises “his efforts in making dialogue prevail over violence during the Goma conference [aimed at bringing peace to the DRC provinces of North and South Kivu] and for dedicating his wisdom and experience to realising these principles throughout his career”.

Winner to be chosen in October

The Conference of Presidents will select the winner in mid-October and the prize will be awarded to the laureate in Strasbourg on 17 December. In addition to the title, the winner receives the sum of €50,000.

German Olympians say ‘We’re all Chinese’ in protest

By Erik Kirschbaum – Reuters

BERLIN, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Under the slogan “We are all Chinese”, nine German Olympians have posed in their sports kit for a Munich magazine while holding pictures of Chinese dissidents in front of their faces.
The pictures were published on Friday in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung magazine under a headline recalling the famous 1963 “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech by U.S. President John F. Kennedy that paid tribute to West Berlin’s freedom after the Wall was built.
Swimmer Petra Dallmann was depicted holding a photograph in front of her face of Hu Jia, who the magazine said has often criticised human rights in China.[continues…]