China bars dissident Hu Jia from marking Human Rights Day

Featured - December 10th, 2012

Chinese authorities detained dissident Hu Jia in his home after he proposed marking UN Human Rights Day near the home of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, whose wife is under house arrest.

“The police are keeping me in my home until Tuesday to prevent me from meeting with people like you so that I will not be photographed or filmed for Human Rights Day,” Hu told AFP on Monday after suggesting on his Twitter account last week that a park near Liu Xiaobo’s home would “be a good place to hold a human rights press conference.”

Hu’s plan to mark the event near Liu’s home came after a group of Nobel laureates launched a petition on the release of the Nobel Peace Prize winner and his wife, Liu Xia.

Liu won the award in 2010, which China at the time condemned as “unwanted foreign interference in its internal affairs.” It also refused to allow him to attend the ceremony in Oslo. He was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment in 2009 while his wife was placed under house arrest, drawing international criticism on China’s human rights issues.

Hu, a prominent dissident, was jailed for three years since 2008 for campaigning for civil rights, the environment and AIDS patients.