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Activist Hu Jia denied right to appeal prison sentence; wife concerned for his health

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

IFJ Condemns Denial of Jailed Activist's Right to Appeal

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns actions by officials of the Beijing Municipal Detention Centre in denying human rights activist Hu Jia his right to lodge an appeal against his jail sentence.

Hu was sentenced on April 3 to three-and-a-half years' jail and one year's denial of political rights for making comments to foreign media and publishing articles on Boxun, a banned Chinese-language website based in the United States, that were critical of China's record on democracy and human rights.

According to Section 180, Chapter 3, Part 3, of the Criminal Procedure of the Chinese Constitution, all defendants have the right to appeal.

Hu's lawyer, Li Fangping, has told the IFJ that he was not allowed to see Hu on April 13, which was the last possible day to lodge an appeal.

Li had planned to meet Hu to seek his approval to lodge an appeal, but an officer at the detention centre denied his request, saying that Hu was undertaking a physical examination, a requirement of his transfer from the detention centre to prison.

Li reports he was dismayed that the detention centre had arranged for Hu to undergo a physical examination for transfer before the expiry of the appeal time.

Hu's wife, Zeng Jinyan, was not permitted to visit Hu. Zeng says she is extremely worried about Hu's health as he has suffered liver cirrhosis for two years.

Li says he will apply by mail for medical parole for Hu.

"The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which China has said it will ratify, guarantees the right to appeal," said IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park. "While the IFJ condemns outright the sentence against Hu and the process under which it was imposed, we nonetheless call on China to play by its own rules and allow an appeal."

The IFJ has demanded that China release Hu.

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries.

Updates the Hu Jia case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/92229

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