Censorship in China is nothing new but the communist country is making international headlines once again as a popular human rights advocate was officially brought up on charges of subverting state power.
Hu Jia was arrested in late December and detained while his wife, Zeng Jinyan, was allowed to remain under house arrest with their new baby daughter. Remaining in custody, Hu was issued a formal arrest warrant this week despite calls from notable Chinese intellectuals and attorneys for his release.
Hu and his wife have gained international attention for their advocacy on behalf of AIDS patients, farmers and the environment. They are also well-known Internet bloggers who have faced official scrutiny for years for their writings on human rights in China. During a long period under house arrest in 2006, Hu filmed a documentary, “Prisoners in Freedom City.” By posting the video online, Hu angered the state further. He has consistently criticized his country for not abiding by its word to improve human rights conditions. Now his accusations are being tied to the upcoming Olympics.
The family’s phone and internet lines have been cut off. Zeng can no longer blog. No one is allowed to have contact with her and the baby except for Hu and Zeng’s parents. Journalists, friends, and supporters are not allowed near the apartment complex where mom and baby are being held prisoner. By the way, their apartment is in a complex named Bo Bo Freedom City.
Although Hu’s attorney says that he knows of no formal plans to send Hu to trial, international rights groups are reporting that China is indeed planning to do so.
Amnesty International has a PDF file called Urgent Action which YOU can use to send an appeal in Hu’s defense. HURRY~ APPEALS MUST BE RECEIVED BY FEBRUARY 12th!!!
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint program of the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) lists the following addresses of individuals to whom appeals can also be sent to:
President Hu Jintao, People’s Republic of China, c/o Embassy of the People’s Republic of China; 2300 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 20008, USA, Fax: +01 202 588-0032;
Minister of Justice of the People’s Republic of China, Buzhang Sifabu, Wu Aiying, 10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie, Chaoyangqu, Beijingshi 100020, People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 6529 2345;
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Buzhang Waijiaobu, Mr. Yang Jiechi, 2 Chaoyangmen Nandajie, Beijingshi 100701, People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 6588 2594, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Ambassador Sha Zukang, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China, Chemin de Surville 11, P.O. Box 85, 1213 Petit-Lancy 2, Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7937014, E-mail: email@example.com;
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Brussels, Avenue de Tervuren, 463 1160 Auderghem, Belgium, Tel: + 32 2 663 30 10 / + 32 2 663 30 17 / +32 2 771 14 97 / +32 2 779 43 33; Fax: +32 2 762 99 66 / +32 2 779 28 95; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of the People’s Republic of China in your respective country.