Court to Announce “Olympic Detainee” Hu Jia’s Verdict on April 3

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(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, March 31, 2008)- Hu Jia (胡佳), the prominent human rights defender detained on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power,” will be tried for a second time on April 3 by the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court. The court told Hu’s lawyers that there will be another trial for Hu, without elaborating what the trial will entail. The lawyers believe that the court will announce Hu’s verdict at the end of the trial.

Hu was tried by the same court on March 18. The authorities are required by law to announce Hu’s verdict by April 7.

Meanwhile, on March 29, Hu’s wife Zeng Jinyan (曾金燕) updated her blog “Liao Liao Yuan”. In her blog entry, Zeng describes her fear and anxiety living under house arrest with her 3-month old daughter, her gratitude towards her supporters and her hope for her husband to be released and return home.

CHRD calls for Hu‘s immediate and unconditional release.

Since the prosecutors’ only “evidence” against Hu consists of articles he wrote and press interviews he gave that discuss human rights issues, CHRD believes that Hu is being prosecuted solely for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and to defend human rights. The right to freedom of expression is guaranteed in Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, which China has signed but not yet ratified).

Background

Hu, 34, started his activism as an AIDS activist in 2001. He is co-founder of the Beijing Aizhixing Institute of Health Education and Loving Source, a grassroots organization dedicated to help children from AIDS families. Due to his criticisms of the government’s failures in AIDS prevention and care, he had been repeatedly harassed and beaten by police.

Hu‘s activism extended beyond AIDS. He had insisted on reporting human rights violations, giving interviews to overseas press and writing about other activists’ plight. Prior to his detention on December 27, Hu and his wife Zeng Jinyan (曾金燕) had been put under “residential surveillance” (jianshi juzhu) without any legal authorization since April, 2004.

Despite under residential surveillance, Hu refused to be silenced and he continued to report on rights violations prior to the Olympic Games. Hu was taken from his home on December 27, 2007 and formally arrested on January 28 on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”.

For more information, please see:
Giving Thanks: Blog Entry by Zeng Jinyan (March 29, 2008)
Hu Jia’s Mother’s Plea for Justice and Conciliation (March 19, 2008)
Hu Jia on Trial: Rights to Free Speech and Due Process Violated (March 19, 2008)
Hu Jia‘s Trial for “Inciting Subversion of State Power” Scheduled for March 18 (March 13, 2008)
Hu Jia Formally Arrested: Authorities Impervious To International Protest (January 31, 2008)
Detained Activist Hu Jia Denied Access to Lawyer, His Family Harassed (January 6, 2008)
Beijing Activist Hu Jia Detained on Suspicion of “Inciting Subversion of State Power” (December 28, 2007)

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