Hong Kong Diocese Urges Release of Hu Jia

Human Rights Activist Is Seriously Ill

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HONG KONG, APRIL 12, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Hong Kong Diocese’s Justice and Peace Commission is urging Beijing to release human rights activist Hu Jia, who is suffering from chronic cirrhosis that his wife fears might turn into liver cancer.

The Justice and Peace Commission launched the signature campaign today among parishes and Catholic organizations, which petitions Beijing to allow Hu Jia, 36, to return home to receive proper medical treatment.

Hu was detained in December 2007 for “inciting subversion of state power.” As China prepared for the 2008 Olympic Games, Hu published articles on the Internet regarding environmental contamination, human rights violations, and especially about the persecution of people with HIV/AIDS.

The commission quoted Zeng Jinyan, Hu Jia’s wife, as saying that Hu’s health is deteriorating, and that authorities had rejected his request for medical parole.

The commission, an advisory body on social issues to the diocesan bishop, also asked Beijing to send Hu’s family a detailed medical report on his health, to allow him sufficient time to rest, and to relieve him of duties involving physical labor.

It also reiterated that the imprisonment of Hu Jia is a violation of human rights.

Last Friday, the Association of Hong Kong Journalists also urged Beijing to release Hu Jia on medical parole.

Hu is serving a 3.5-year term. Shortly after sentencing, he was awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

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ZENIT Staff

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