Authorities Announce Trial for Beijing Activist Hu Jia

March 16, 2008 12:00 am Last Updated: March 16, 2008 12:00 am

The trial of Hu Jia, the Beijing-based HIV/AIDS activist, is scheduled for March 18. Hu's defense attorneys Li Jinsong and Li Fangping are busy preparing for the upcoming court date, and will meet with Hu once again before proceedings begin.

Hu Jia was detained on December 27, 2007, on charges of inciting subversion of state power, and formally arrested on these charges on January 30, 2008. On March 7, the prosecution delivered papers to the Beijing First Intermediate People's Court for the March 18 trial.

Defense attorney Li Fangping said they were only recently notified of the March 18 court date, leaving them very little time to read all the relevant files and meet with Hu in order to have a complete defense strategy.

According to the indictment, authorities accuse Hu of publishing articles on overseas websites and accepting interviews from overseas media. “The prosecution holds that contents of some articles suggest subverting of state power and an attempt to overthrow the socialist system,” said Li Fangping.

Hu's wife, Zeng Jinyan, will not be allowed to attend the trial, explained Li. “When the prosecution asked about the number of people attending, we told them there would be four to five family members. But since they had listed Zeng Jinyan as a witness, she could not attend the trial. Yet, according to the files, she has nothing to do with the case.”

“I haven't even received the written notice,” said Hu's mother of her son's trial just a few days away. Since Hu Jia was arrested, his wife and their three-month-old daughter have been living under police surveillance. Hu is a long-time HIV/AIDS activist and has actively fought for human rights improvement in China through international reports.