Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

17 December 2008

Standing ovation for jailed Chinese dissident

Standing ovation for jailed Chinese dissident
The European Parliament has honoured a jailed Chinese dissident in absentia with its top human rights award. The assembly gave a one-minute standing ovation on Wednesday as the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was placed in front of an empty seat marking Hu Jia's absence.

The assembly listened to a video message from Hu's wife Zeng Jinyan, who thanked the European Parliament for its recognition of her 35-year-old husband. Also in attendance for the award ceremony were Elena Bonner, the widow of Soviet-era dissident Andrei Sakharov for whom the award is named, and past award laureates.

Video message from Zeng Jinyan (part 2 on Youtube)

Hu Jia was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison on 3 April 2008 for "inciting subversion". One of China’s best-known environment and human rights activists, Hu Jia, is serving his sentence in Beijing City Prison.  

He was one of the founders of the Beijing-based HIV/AIDS organization Loving Source, a grassroots organization dedicated to helping children from AIDS families. Together with Zeng Jinyan he regularly informed overseas journalists and human rights organisations of abuses taking place in China.

His family is concerned that he is not receiving adequate medical treatment in prison for his liver disease but the authorities rejected an application for his release on medical parole.

Zeng Jinyan and the couple's one-year-old daughter remain under tight police surveillance with officers stationed outside their home, limiting their visitors and following them when they go out. For the duration of the Olympic Games, they were moved outside Beijing.

Amnesty International considers Hu Jia a prisoner of conscience and has demanded his immediate and unconditional release and the end of harassment of his wife and their daughter. The organisation called the awarding of the prize a significant acknowledgement of the work of Hu Jia and the work of all activists in China who speak out against human rights abuses.

Read More

European Parliament honours jailed Chinese activist (News, 24 October 2008)


Freedom Of Expression 
Trials And Legal Systems 




Asia And The Pacific 
Europe And Central Asia 

@amnestyonline on twitter


19 December 2014

A flurry of activity by UN member states to sign and ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty before it enters into force next week is another clear sign of the overwhelming... Read more »

18 December 2014

The rights of migrants are being trampled across the globe as they face economic exploitation, discrimination and racism in a range of countries.

Read more »
22 December 2014

Pakistan's reported plans to execute 500 more people are “deeply disturbing” and would do nothing to protect civilians from the conflict with the Taliban.

Read more »
24 December 2014

Pro-Kyiv volunteer battalions are increasingly blocking humanitarian aid into eastern Ukraine in a move which will exacerbate a pending humanitarian crisis in the run up to... Read more »

23 December 2014

Torture, including rape and other forms of sexual violence, suffered by women and girls from Iraq’s Yezidi minority who were abducted by the armed group calling itself the... Read more »