Dissident Writer’s Health Declining
International PEN is seriously concerned about the deteriorating health of imprisoned activist and dissident writer Hu Jia, who was hospitalized for tests in late March 2010. Requests for medical parole have been denied. Hu Jia is serving a three-and-a-half-year sentence for “inciting subversion of state power” for his critical writings and dissident activities. International PEN considers Hu Jia to be held solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, which is protected under Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory. PEN continues to call for his immediate and unconditional release, and seeks assurances that Hu Jia is receiving all necessary medical care as a matter of urgency.
According to PEN’s information, on March 30, 2010, Hu Jia was admitted to the Beijing Municipal Prison Hospital for tests following a sharp deterioration in his health. There were fears he might have liver cancer, but an application for medical parole by Hu’s wife, Zeng Jinyan, was refused when authorities claimed the mass on his liver was a "vascular cyst." Neither Hu nor his family has yet received a full written report of the results of the medical tests performed. Hu was returned to prison in mid-April. Zeng Jinyan, who visited him on April 19, said he was “very thin” but “in fairly good spirits.”
Hu Jia has been suffering from long-term health problems including cirrhosis of the liver, and his condition appears to be deteriorating in prison.
On April 3, 2008, Hu Jia was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power,” a charge that stems from his critical online writings and dissident activities, after being tried on March 18, 2008, at the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court. According to his lawyer, evidence presented against him in court included five articles published on banned overseas Chinese web sites and two interviews given to the foreign media. He is also believed to be targeted for an open letter he signed, "The Real China Before the Olympics," which demanded an end to human rights abuses in the run-up to the Olympic Games, which were held in Beijing in August 2008.
Write A Letter
- Expressing serious concern for Hu Jia’s deteriorating health and calling for him to be given all necessary medical care as a matter of urgency;
- Demanding Hu Jia’s immediate and unconditional release on humanitarian grounds and in accordance with Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory.
Send Your Letter To
His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
Please note that there are no fax numbers for the Chinese authorities. PEN recommends that you copy your appeal to the Chinese embassy in your country asking them to forward it and welcoming any comments.
Please contact PEN if sending appeals after June 15, 2010: ftw[at] pen.org