Chinese activist Hu Jia remains under house arrest

DHARAMSALA, Jan 28: Within hours after prominent Chinese human rights lawyer, Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four years jail term for “disruption of public order” on Jan 26, another renowned human rights activist, Hu Jia was taken away from his Beijing home for detention by public security officers who accused him of “inciting public disturbance”.

Hu Jia said on his Twitter account late Sunday that he was being taken away by police, adding that it was probably because of his online support for Xu and other members of the New Citizens’ Movement.

Anticipating his arrest, Hu earlier updated his Twitter account saying he suspected he was being watched because of his support for Xu.

He said he was ready to be detained. “If there isn’t any news for the next 24 hours, please contact my lawyers. Take care,” he wrote on Twitter.

Although he was released the next day on Monday, he remains under house arrest.

“Hu returned home today and remains under house arrest after being interrogated by six policemen involved in Internet security,” his wife Zeng Jinyan said on Twitter.

“They gave me no explanation as to why I’m under house arrest, even though it’s now clear that the prosecutions of the New Citizen’s Movement have turned a corner,” Associated press cited Hu as saying in a telephone interview.

Hu Jia, a Buddhist Chinese dissident outspoken on Tibet whose work has focused on sensitive issues such as HIV/AIDS in China, Chinese democracy movement and protection of endangered Tibetan antelope among others was sentenced to three and half years’ jail term in 2008 for “inciting subversion of state power”. Hu was awarded the European Parliament’s Human Rights Prize in December, 2008.


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