Asia

Chinese Christian activist wins human rights award. (Update: Never mind)

Hu Jia awarded Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought at the beginning of his three-year jail term in China.

Hu Jia, who was among those named in our map of pre-Olympic arrests in China, was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

The European Parliament gives out the prestigious annual award. Their press release says:

Hu Jia is a prominent human rights activist and dissident in the People's Republic of China. He has embraced a wide range of causes, including environmental issues, HIV/AIDS advocacy and a call for an official enquiry into the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. He has also acted as a coordinator of the 'barefoot lawyers movement'.

Having already been arrested several times, he spoke to MEPs in November 2007 from house arrest via conference call during a public meeting of the EP Human Rights Subcommittee on human rights in China in the run-up to the Olympic Games. As a result he was charged by the authorities with "inciting subversion of state power" and sentenced on 3 April 2008 to three-and-a-half years in jail.

The prize puts China - which is reportedly pretty steamed - ...

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