April 12, 2010
BEIJING–Sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for allegedly “inciting subversion against the state”, Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia faces possible death in prison, suffering from acute liver failure and possible liver cancer, as the Chinese Government denied Jia’s wife’s request for his medical parole on April 12. Hu’s wife Zeng Jinyan and mother grew concerned that his severe cirrhosis of the liver had developed into cancer when Hu Jia was held in the hospital unexpectedly after undergoing a series of medical tests on March 30.
The results of the exam were scheduled to be released on April 2, but the family has still not received a diagnosis from the prison doctors. Zeng Jinyan appealed to the Chinese Government on April 8, 2010 for Hu’s medical release–and was summarily denied on Monday, casting an ominous cloud of uncertainty around Hu’s failing condition.
Since 2004, Hu Jia has been repeatedly detained and placed under house arrest before finally being sentenced to prison on April 3, 2008. Though Hu has suffered liver failure for many years, his decline in recent months, exacerbated by prison conditions, led Zeng Jinyan to pursue his immediate release.
A man of integrity and commitment, Hu Jia garnered international attention in the 1990s for his humanitarian work compiling evidence of the AIDS pandemic throughout the Chinese countryside alongside Dr. Gao Yaojie. The 83-year-old gynecologist has been called the “Mother Teresa of China” and is credited with exposing the nationwide cover-up of the government-run blood bank system and AIDS pandemic.
“When I heard the Hu Jia had fallen ill, I was deeply grieved,” Dr. Gao Yaojie told ChinaAid President Bob Fu. Hu Jia traveled the countryside by bike and by foot to collect evidence and defend the helpless AIDS patients.
“Hu Jia worked tirelessly. When he couldn’t bike anymore, he would push the bike. When he couldn’t push the bike anymore, he would strap the bike on to his back and walk.” Dr. Gao was deeply saddened to hear that Hu’s health had deteriorated so severely, and was concerned for Hu’s wife Zeng Jinyan and Hu’s family.
Hu Jia is a faithful Buddhist who was targeted by the Chinese Government for advocating on issues ranging from religious freedom and Tibetan self-governance to Chinese democratic rights. He was awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2008 for his advocacy of democracy. The Sakharov Network called on the European Union on Friday to pressure the Chinese Government for Hu Jia’s release.
ChinaAid calls on the Chinese Government to disclose the true details of Hu Jia’s medical condition. Based on his deteriorating health, we urge the Chinese Government to recant their decision to reject Zeng Jinyan’s appeal and to grant Hu Jia medical release to his family during this difficult time.
Articles referenced in this report:
“Jailed China activist Hu Jia may have cancer: wife” Reuters, 4/08/2010.
“Sakharov Network Requests Chinese Dissident Hu Jia’s Release.” Reporters Sans-Frontiers, 4/09/2010.
“Imprisoned Chinese Activist hu Jia Denied Medical Parole.” The Epoch Times, 4/12/2010.
Hu Jia's Health Fails, ChinaAid Urges the Chinese Government to Reconsider His Medical Release