Hu Jia’s wife calls for his release on health grounds

Photo by Steve Rhodes, used under a Creative Commons License

The wife of one of China’s most prolific dissidents, Hu Jia, has called for her husband’s release, claiming he is suffering from a serious disease.

Zeng Jinyan told the BBC that doctors discovered a growth on Hu’s liver in March this year. Tests for liver cancer have been carried out but Zeng is still awaiting results. She says her husband’s health has deteriorated since being diagnosed with cirrhosis in 2006.

Zeng is reportedly pessimistic about the fate of her appeal, given that one of her previous requests for her husband’s medical parole was rejected last year. In addition, AP reported that an official with the Beijing Prison Administration said he had not heard about the appeal.

Hu is currently serving a three and a half-year jail term for sedition due to end in June 2011. The sentence results from police accusations in late 2007 that he had planned to work with foreigners to disturb the Beijing Olympics. He has also chronicled the harassment and arrests of other dissidents, and published a series of articles accusing authorities of neglecting and downplaying human rights concerns ahead of the Games.

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