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Human Rights in China Condemns Attack on Hu Jia

November 12, 2007

Human Rights in China condemns the November 9 attack on human rights activist Hu Jia (胡佳), reportedly involving state security officers from the Beijing Municipal Security Bureau. Hu Jia told Radio Free Asia that he was severely beaten and sustained injuries to his face and arms.

According to Hu, he was leaving his house to visit his pregnant wife at the hospital when state security officers stopped and severely beat him. Hu was later released and allowed to continue on his way, but officers continued to follow him. At the hospital two cars and approximately eight police officers were stationed outside the maternity ward to monitor Hu.

The ongoing harassment of human rights activists like Hu Jia highlights the Chinese authorities’ unyielding intolerance of critical voices. As international scrutiny intensifies in the lead up to the 2008 Olympic Games, the international community should use every opportunity to urge the Chinese authorities to demonstrate greater respect for the rights of it own citizens.

– Sharon Hom, Executive Director of HRIC

On November 8 Hu Jia's wife, fellow rights defender Zeng Jinyan (曾金燕), listed as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine this year, was admitted to the hospital to give birth. After spending that night with her, Hu had returned home briefly on November 9 to rest before returning to the hospital. According to Hu, when Zeng found out about his beating she was very distressed that she suffered stomach pains and vomited. Hu said he did not know the specific reasons for this attack but, given that he is constantly monitored by the police, he assumes they knew he was simply going to visit his wife.

Hu and his wife have been persecuted since 2002 because of their activism on environmental and HIV/AIDS issues. They have been under house arrest for most of 2007 and are closely monitored.

"The ongoing harassment of human rights activists like Hu Jia highlights the Chinese authorities' unyielding intolerance of critical voices," said Human Rights in China Executive Director Sharon Hom. "As international scrutiny intensifies in the lead up to the 2008 Olympic Games, the international community should use every opportunity to urge the Chinese authorities to demonstrate greater respect for the rights of it own citizens."

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