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Posts Tagged ‘Hu jia wins the prize’

One of China’s most prominent human rights activists, Hu Jia, has won the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.Mr. Hu, an advocate for environmental and HIV/AIDS causes, used the Internet to report and distribute information about alleged abuses in China in the lead up to this year’s 2008 Beijing Olympics. In April, the 35-year-old was sentenced to a three and half year prison sentence for “inciting subversion against the state.”Hu did dedicate much of his time to raising awareness of AIDS and environmental issues in China. Hu Jia and 42 Chinese intellectuals signed an open letter entitled “One World, One Dream: Universal Human Rights”, calling for more attention to human rights in China. On 6 September 2007, he and his lawyer, Teng Biao, published another open letter, “The Real China and the Olympics“, detailing the situation of human rights in the run-up to the OlympicsThe Chinese responsed harshly to the announcement of EUas “We express strong dissatisfaction to the decision by the European Parliament to issue such an award to the jailed criminal in China, in disregard of China’s repeated representations,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters. “It also violates universally recognized rules in the world, which is countries should treat each others as equals and respect each other.” For all the work he’s done, Hu Jia remains relatively unknown in China today, although he is a favourite posterboy for Chinese dissidents among EU lawmakers because he once addressed the European Parliament via webcam while he was under house arrest. Next week’s EU-China summit in Beijing will be a fun one to watch.

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