Human Rights in China (HRIC) strongly condemns the detention of rights defender Hu Jia (胡佳) on December 27 and demands his immediate release. The Beijing police reportedly detained Hu Jia on suspicion of "(inciting) subversion of state power." In the lead-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Chinese authorities' ongoing crackdown on civil society and rights defenders sends the wrong message to the international community, tarnishes China's image and demonstrates its zero tolerance of critical voices.
Hu Jia is a long-time HIV/AIDS activist and an internationally recognized Chinese rights defender. He has actively fought for rights improvement in China through his timely international reporting of major rights abuses. Hu and his wife, Zeng Jinyan, received a 2007 special press freedom award from Reporters without Borders, and were also nominated for the Sakharov Human Rights Award of the European Parliament.
Sharon Hom, Executive Director of Human Rights in China, said, "According to an old Chinese proverb, people should be judged by their actions not by their words. What the international community cares about are also the actions, not only the words, of the Chinese authorities. As China prepares to welcome the world in 2008, it has to demonstrate that it respects human rights and the rule of law. Otherwise the promises made by the Chinese government to its people and the world will become increasingly meaningless."
Human Rights in China urges the Chinese authorities to implement all of the Olympics promises made to the international community and respect their international human rights obligations. The Chinese authorities must stop harassing, detaining and prosecuting Chinese rights defenders who are simply exercising rights protected by international human rights law, the Chinese Constitution and Chinese law.
For more information on Hu Jia, see: