China, human rights activist subjected to forced labor

China Aid Association
Hu Jia, detained in Chinese prison under the accusation of “subversion against the state”, may not receive medical care or communicate with his family: the guards confiscate his letters and books, and will not permit him to speak with his relatives or his lawyer. Restrictions are also in place against his wife.
Beijing (AsiaNews) – Forced to work seven hours a day under the burning sun, in spite of the serious cirrhosis of the liver from which he has suffered for some time: this is what human rights activist Hu Jia must undergo in Chinese prison, in addition to the confiscation of letters from his relatives and of a book about prisoner rights sent to him by his wife.
The charge comes from Chinese Human Rights Defenders, according to which “Hu has been ordered to rake up leaves in the prison grounds under the hot sun”. The measures were taken against him after he pointed out that “certain punishments used by Chaobai Prison, where Hu is held, violate basic human dignity”. His health condition remains “critical” (the cirrhosis is undermining his overall health), and he “requires plenty of rest and regular check-ups with liver specialists”, both of which are denied to him by prison officials.

Since August 1, all of the letters that Hu Jia has written to his family, week after week, have been confiscated by officials at the Chaobai prison. The guards have also discovered and confiscated a book that the activist received from his wife, on the subject of “prisoner rights”, while his family visits have been “restricted”. The national security police, who supervise the sporadic visits granted to Hu’s relatives, use the possibility of visiting the prison as a “bargaining chip”: if they denounce the abuse and harassment, the agents respond by blocking any contact with the activist. Not even his lawyer has free access to the prison: since April 3, when Hu was last arrested, the meetings between the prisoner and his lawyer have been “sporadic”. The jailers make thin excuses to block access and visits, like unspecified “internal security rules” at the prison.
The police have finally brought Hu’s wife and children back to their home in Beijing, after taking them away last August 7. They were taken first to the Chaobai prison, and then to a hotel in Dalian, under surveillance by security forces. After being brought back to the capital, the woman is under house arrest and subjected to continual surveillance.
Hu Jia Is well known all over China for his efforts against AIDS and for human rights. He has been imprisoned under the accusation of “subversion against the state”; the European Parliament has taken action on his behalf, “forcefully condemning his detention” at the beginning of the year, and calling for “his immediate release, and of all dissidents detained for crimes of opinion”.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
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