Opinion World

China: Hu Jia, defender of human rights

Hu Jia, one of China’s best-known dissidents, was yesterday awarded an EU human rights prize, despite a warning from Beijing that selecting the political prisoner would damage relations.

His wife and supporters welcomed the news that MEPs had picked him for the Sakharov prize, worth €50,000 (£39,500) Previous recipients include Nelson Mandela and the East Timorese leader, Xanana Gusmao.

“Hu Jia is one of the real defenders of human rights in the People’s Republic of China,” said Hans-Gert Poettering, president of the European parliament.

“He returned with his parents’ home,” said the wife, adding that her husband was forbidden to make public speeches.

In 2001 Hu Jia became known as an advocate for AIDS patients. On the eve of the Olympics-2008, he publicly criticized the awarding of the Olympic Games in Beijing, saying his country did not respect human rights. In April 2008, Hu Jia was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for “inciting subversion” vague formula of justice, intended to silence the protesters.

Last year, Hu was appointed candidate for the Nobel Prize for peace, but Liu Xiabao, currently serving a term of 11 years in prison, which is seen discern.

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