Sign up for weekly updates

Dissident Hu Jia formally charged for "inciting subversion"

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has said it was outraged by the charge of "inciting subversion of state power" made against dissident Hu Jia, who has been held secretly in Beijing for more than a month.

His family was notified in writing on 30 January 2008 by the prosecutor's office that Hu Jia, who is suffering from liver disease, was to be put on trial. He risks a harsh prison sentence.

"Are the authorities in Beijing so deaf that they have not heard the appeals for clemency for Hu Jia, from China and the rest of the world?" the worldwide press freedom organisation asked.

"This charge is an insult to the diplomatic efforts of many countries who have expressed their views following the arrest of this free expression activist, six months ahead of the Olympic Games," it added.

A spokesperson for Chinese Human Rights Defenders confirmed to Reporters Without Borders that Hu Jia's family had been told about the charge on 30 January, just two days before the end of the legal time limit for being held in custody.

Hu Jia is still held secretly in Beijing. His lawyers have not been allowed to visit him and have been followed by the political police wherever they go.

Hu's wife, Zeng Jinyan, and their two-month-old daughter are still under house arrest in the capital - making the baby girl effectively the world's youngest political prisoner.

First the European Parliament, but also the United States and the European Commission have all appealed to the Chinese authorities on behalf of Hu Jia.

Sign the petition:

Latest Tweet:

Many of the 40 Egyptian human rights workers, lawyers and activists arrested were people who provided humanitarian…

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.