Chinese Human Rights Advocate Arrested and Beaten

March 15, 2013 4:12 pm Last Updated: October 1, 2015 10:49 am

Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia was taken away from his Beijing apartment by police on Wednesday and beaten. He later uploaded a picture of his somewhat bloodied forehead to Twitter.

The authorities said that Hu was guilty of “provoking quarrels and making trouble,” which Hu suspects was a reference to his recent activism and criticism of the regime.

Hu’s wife, Zeng Jinyan, was about to attend class at university when she got a text message from her husband, saying he had been summoned by the Zhongcang police station in Tongzhou District. She responded by sending multiple tweets calling for online support, and then repeatedly telephoning the police station, since Hu’s cellphone had been switched off.

Zeng posted a message on Twitter at 2 p.m. on March 14: “He said, ‘I was summoned on the charge of “provoking quarrels and making trouble.” I have to go with them immediately. They are all police.’ I had to stay in class. So friends on Twitter, please help me find out what is happening.”

Five minutes later, well-known dissident artist Ai Weiwei responded on Twitter, calling on people to closely follow the abduction.

Later that day, Zeng posted another tweet, saying she was worried about Hu’s health. Hu, 39, takes medication for liver cirrhosis, and is not supposed to miss any doses.

The news of Hu’s arrest spread quickly on the Internet, and many netizens called Zhongcang police station to demand his release. 

A female netizen posted the police station’s telephone number online, saying: “Officers at Zhongcang police station, please don’t follow the bad examples of the domestic security officers. Please treat Hu Jia with respect.” 

Eventually, Hu himself took to Twitter, posting a photo of a wound on his head, and saying he was detained for eight hours and beaten “pretty badly” by state security officers. He added: “They saw that I was injured so sent me home early.’ Thanks everyone!”

Hu told Reuters that there are two possible reasons for his arrest. Hu recently organized for activists to visit the wife of jailed Nobel laureate Liu Xia, who has been held under house arrest since her husband’s award. “Or it could also be that during the parliament session, I’ve published numerous critical opinions of the Communist Party,” he said.

Hu’s friend “Haitao1975” praised his kindness and sincerity, and said on Twitter that his activism against the Chinese regime has led to a number of security officers being promoted for monitoring Hu and trying to stop him being “a thorn in the side of the communist regime.”

“The head of Zhongcang police station, whose last name is Li, used to just be a regular policeman,” Haitao1975 tweeted. “The special investigation unit leader, Yang Chuntao, also used to be one of the police monitoring Hu outside his home. I often joked with Hu that his home is the training school for domestic security officers, and he is the principal.”  

Apart from his focus on HIV and AIDS problems in China, Hu has raised awareness of environmental and human rights issues. He has written numerous articles drawing attention to the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights violations. In April 2008, Hu was sentenced to three and a half years in prison on charges of “inciting subversion of state power and the socialist system.” After his release, Hu continued to be a voice for the disadvantaged and has since been under tight surveillance

Read original Chinese article. 

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