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Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is asking you to sign a petition calling for the release of a Chinese human rights activist who has been held incommunicado in Beijing for more than a month.

Hu Jia, a Beijing-based advocate for AIDS sufferers as well as the environment and human rights, was arrested on 27 December and later charged with "inciting subversion of state power."

Hu was kept under house arrest for 214 days last year, keeping contact with other activists and foreign reporters through the telephone and Internet and exposing China's repression of human rights defenders through his blogs and videos.

Using a webcam to address a European parliamentary hearing last November, Hu said, "It is ironic that one of the people in charge of organising the Olympic Games is the head of the Bureau of Public Security, which is responsible for so many human rights violations. It is very serious that the official promises are not being kept before the Games."

Hu's wife, Zeng Jinyan, also an outspoken human rights advocate, and their two-month-old daughter remain under house arrest in Beijing.

Hu's arrest has drawn an outcry from foreign rights groups, who believe it was a way for the authorities to take a high-profile activist out of action before Beijing's Olympic Games later this year.

The European Parliament, the United States and the European Commission, have all appealed to the Chinese authorities on behalf of Hu.

You can too, by signing RSF's petition:

(5 February 2008)

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