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  • » 01/07/2008, 00.00

    CHINA

    Hu Jia arrested, Beijing “is ignoring promises made to get the Games”



    The world renowned activist, who for years has been fighting against the spreading of AIDS, was arrested on December 27th and is now in prison accused of subversion. The Chinese Human Rights Defenders accuse China of its ferocity against dissidents and asks for a revision of the law which punishes subversion against the State, a smoke screen which hides abuse and violence.

    Beijing  (AsiaNews) – The Chinese government “continues to break those promises made to the world to obtain the Olympic Games” and in particular “it is ignoring peoples human rights, using a law as a repressive instrument and censorship as a way to safeguard its own image”.  This is why, “all Chinese dissidents ask that concrete steps are taken, which show Beijing’s goodwill: a revision of the infamous article 105 of the penal code”.

    This was carried in a statement released this morning by Chinese Human Rights Defenders (Chrd).  According to the text, “the arrest of the well known anti-Aids activist Hu Jia, which took place December 27th last, shows that charges of subverting the State, punished by art. 105, serve as a smoke-screen to cover internal criticism of the government”.

    Hu Jia is world renowned for his battle to fight the spread of HIV AIDS within the country, a problem the government tries to ignore.  Moreover, Hu, has always been active in informing the press regarding the arrest of other activists and has gathered precious information regarding the situation of political detainees.  His wife has also been under police surveillance for some time now.

    Having lived mostly under house arrest or residential surveillance in the two years leading up to the detention; a few days ago, about 30 police officers broke into Hu Jia’s home and took him away. His wife, fellow activist Zeng Jinyan, is now under house arrest. At least 10 security personnel guard her home.  According to his arrest warrant, Hu was detained on article 105. suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power.” 

    The Chrd statement maintains that these charges, “show that the law has become an instrument which police use to do what they want.  If the government wants to make the world believe in the promises it made then it really has to re-address the text of the law and specify what “subversion” means.  Only then will abuse of power and  the violation of human rights be avoided”.

    The reference is to promises made by the Foreign Minister to the International Olympics Committee during the run up to the assigning of the 2008 Olympics: China committed itself to improving the human rights situation in the country, to reduce pollution and to review its stance on Tibet.  So far these promises have been simply ignored.

    Chrd underlines that the situation, “is getting worse: currently there are 41 cases of arbitrary and unjustified arrests of Human Rights activists all according to article. 105. As the Games approach it can only be summarised that the grip is tightening even more; anyone who dares criticise the government or denounce the current climate in China risks prison”.

     

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    See also

    17/06/2008 CHINA
    The Olympic Torch arrives in Xinjiang, as the death sentence awaits the Uyghurs
    Tight security measures are put in place in the Muslim region for fear of terrorist attacks. Beijing claims sound relations between minorities but the Uyghur’s seek autonomy and greater freedom from Chinese colonisation. Dozens of Uyghur’s charged with “terrorism” await trial and the death sentence.

    01/02/2008 CHINA
    Hu Jia charged, petition calls on government to protect human rights
    Despite EU and US protests, the well-known Chinese activist is formally charged with inciting subversion against the state. More than 14,000 activists and dissidents call on the government to ratify the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

    24/10/2008 CHINA
    Sakharov Prize to Hu Jia angers Beijing, makes activists happy
    China’s government slams “award to a jailed criminal”. Human rights activists praise the choice as “a huge encouragement”, urging Beijing to recognise basic human rights “to become a great modern power.”

    08/08/2006 CHINA
    Olympics two years away: human rights ignored as Beijing gears up

    In the Chinese capital, the countdown to the Olympic Games kicks off today. There are many rallies, much propaganda and plenty of accusations of human rights abuses. Some organizations are calling on athletes and Olympic committees to consider a public boycott.



    27/08/2010 CHINA
    Beijing puts dissidents under house arrest ahead of martial arts Olympics
    Dissidents and democrats removed from the city or put under surveillance before Beijing hosts the sporting event. The powerful China increasingly afraid of any protest and "removes" dissidents several times a year.



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