Imprisoned Activist Hu Jia Still Denied Access to Adequate Medical Care

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(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, June 12, 2008) – Imprisoned human rights defender Hu Jia (胡佳) continues to be denied access to adequate medical care.

Hu is in poor health and suffers from liver cirrhosis. Since his incarceration, Hu has had one physical check-up in late May, but neither he nor his family has been given access to the results. Authorities initially said that the results were ‘being examined’ and therefore not yet available. Later, the authorities said Hu’s health has “improved” without presenting evidence to support this claim. Hu’s family said Hu did not look well when they visited him on June 5.

The prison authorities also told Hu’s family that, according to the relevant Chinese law, unless he is so ill that his life is in immediate danger, sufferers of serious chronic illnesses would not be granted release for medical treatment until he has served a third of his sentence. Since the authorities have monopolized access to Hu’s current medical records, it is impossible for his family to dispute the authorities’ decision if and when they refuse to release Hu on medical grounds.

Authorities claimed that Hu is provided with Vitamin C and Heptodin, a Hepatitis-B medication, but it is unclear whether he has had access to liver specialists. Patients of liver cirrhosis must have regular check-ups with such specialists in order to be provided with an appropriate course of treatment.

Hu is currently held at Chaobai Prison in Tianjin. Inmates at Chaobai are required to sew balls and sort beans, the former especially taxing for the eyes. Hu shares a room with seven others in which four are responsible for monitoring him.

For more information, please see:

Hu Jia, Found Guilty for Criticizing Pre-Olympics Abuses, Sentenced to 3 Years & 6 Months (April 3)
Hu Jia on Trial: Rights to Free Speech and Due Process Violated
(March 18)
Hu Jia’s Trial for “Inciting Subversion of State Power” Scheduled for March 18 (March 13)
Hu Jia Formally Arrested: Authorities Impervious To International Protest (January 3)
Detained Activist Hu Jia Denied Access to Lawyer, His Family Harassed (January 6)
Beijing Activist Hu Jia Detained on Suspicion of “Inciting Subversion of State Power” (December 28, 2007)

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