Fresh off the press: A video of the secret police who watched over AIDS, environmental and democracy activist Hu Jia (胡嘉) day and night while they were under house arrest from July last year to March this year has just been released (h/t to CDT).
Who is Hu Jia and why are the powers-that-be watching over him? Perhaps the best summary of Hu’s trouble-making activities is found in a report by Jonathan Watts of the Guardian Unlimited when the 34 year old activist was barred from visiting the UK in a “pre-Olympic crackdown” earlier this year:
Three years ago, he was detained as he attempted to lay a wreath on Tiananmen square in memory of the victims of the 1989 massacre. In Henan province, he helped to expose the blood-selling scandal that left tens – possibly hundreds – of thousands of villagers with HIV/Aids.
He is an unabashed admirer of the Dalai Lama, who Beijing accuses of “splittism”. Last year, he joined a hunger-strike relay by Chinese rights activists that was the first nationally coordinated protest since 1989.
In 2000, Hu Jia was actively involved in Aizhixing (爱之行), founded by another AIDS activist Wan Yanhai (万延海). Wan is another interesting character that this correspondent has had the pleasure of meeting in researching for another story we wrote on China’s HIV/AIDS situation. Hu and Wan were both instrumental in exposing the blood-selling scandal that left many villagers with HIV/AIDS in Henan Province. Read Finnish paper Helsingin Sanomat’s interesting diary of Hu Jia’s 168 days under house arrest in 2006.
In other (not so good) activist news, rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng (高智晟) has once again been detained after writing a letter to U.S. lawmakers asking them to help expose what he called China’s “ongoing human rights disaster”. We told you last year about the Fangzhou house church in Beijing last year (of which Gao is a member) that was accused of illegal assembly. He was also actively involved in rights issues in the Taishi incident.
Wikipedia: Hu Jia
Helsingin Sanomat: The Year of the Dog – A Chinese activist’s story
Guardian Unlimited: China bars activist from UK visit in pre-Olympic crackdown
Guardian Unlimited: Outspoken Chinese Lawyer Arrested
Gao Zhisheng: Open Letter to the United States Congress
Shanghaiist: Going to church on Sundays is a drag, but this is ridiculous …