保 外 就 医 申 请 书
Chinese Dissident Is Gravely Ill, Wife Says
By MICHAEL WINES and JONATHAN ANSFIELD
Published: April 8, 2010
BEIJING — Hu Jia, an internationally known human-rights activist who has been imprisoned for more than two years on charges of subverting state power, is seriously ill with a liver disease that may be cancer, his wife said Thursday.
She said that she had asked the authorities to grant him parole but that she and Mr. Hu’s lawyer had received strong indications from prison officials that the request was unlikely to be granted.
Mr. Hu’s wife, Zeng Jinyan, said in an interview that doctors discovered a mass on his liver during tests after he was admitted to a Beijing prison medical center on March 30.
Mr. Hu, 36, is the 2008 winner of Europe’s highest human-rights honor, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, and was said to be a front-runner for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize. He gained a worldwide following during a dozen years of efforts on behalf of environmental causes, AIDS patients and the expansion of democratic rights inside China.
According to a copy of Ms. Zeng’s parole request, Mr. Hu had suffered a high fever in the two weeks before he was sent to the prison medical center.
In the interview, she said doctors had written “liver cancer?” on their report but had yet to reach a firm diagnosis.
Mr. Hu was found to have chronic cirrhosis in 2006 stemming from a hepatitis B infection; in January 2009 he had to stop taking a drug used to treat it after developing a resistance to it. Cirrhosis can lead to liver cancer.
Mr. Hu’s worsening condition and the ineffectiveness of medical treatment meet the legal conditions for medical parole outlined in Chinese regulations, Ms. Zeng wrote in the parole request.
But in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Mr. Hu’s lawyer, Li Fangping, said a prison official had told him there was “no way” that Mr. Hu would be released.
Nor did three prison officials Ms. Zeng met with on Thursday provide much hope.
“Even if it is liver cancer,” she said they told her, “medical parole might not be possible, because other factors affect medical parole as well. And if he’s ill, the prison hospital will treat him first, and only if it cannot treat him successfully will he get medical parole.”
Last year, the authorities rejected a request for medical parole submitted by his family.
Mr. Hu was an early user of the Internet to spread the word about human-rights issues and other problems that embarrassed the authorities. He was held under house arrest in 2006 for nearly six months, only to emerge with a documentary, “Prisoners in Freedom City,” that showed the security agents who were his captors harassing Ms. Zeng. In 2007, he testified by video link before a European Parliament committee about human-rights problems in China. The Chinese authorities detained and imprisoned him on charges of subversion the next month, and in April 2008, he was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. His term ends in June 2011.
Mr. Hu’s sentence was widely considered part of the Chinese government’s effort to silence protest before the 2008 Olympic Games, which the country carefully managed to maximize positive international attention.
A month after the Games, in spite of a Chinese government warning of “serious damage” to diplomatic relations, the European Parliament voted to give Mr. Hu the Sakharov Prize. The Parliament’s president at the time, Hans-Gert Pöttering, called the award “a signal of clear support to all those who support human rights in China.”
The advocacy group Human Rights Watch expressed deep concern about Mr. Hu’s health in a December 2008 letter to President Hu Jintao. On Thursday, the group’s director of health and human rights, Joseph Amon, said that Hu Jia’s family and outsiders had experienced “continual problems” in monitoring his medical care and determining whether his treatment was adequate.
“Governments have an obligation to ensure that prisoners receive medical care equal to that provided to the community,” Mr. Amon said, adding that the withholding of medical care could constitute torture under international conventions.
“It’s not hard to release medical results to a family,” he said. “It’s not hard to get follow-up tests when a result is uncertain. And this certainly hasn’t met that standard.”
Ms. Zeng, herself a prominent blogger and rights activist, said that Mr. Hu’s relatives had been able to visit him the day after he was officially admitted to the Beijing prison medical center.
That morning, she said, Beijing prison authorities summoned Mr. Hu’s mother to the hospital to sign paperwork for a scan of his liver. Ms. Zeng described how her husband, his hands cuffed and his ankles chained, nonetheless managed to shuffle down the hallway to greet his mother, who could not fight back her tears.
“Hu Jia, it’s not been easy for Mother to raise you these 36 years,” she told her son. “You have to take care of your health!”
But Mr. Hu, his wife said, remained “very calm, comforting his mother, telling her not to be sad.”
Jailed China activist Hu Jia may have cancer: wife
Thursday, April 8, 2010; 8:27 AM
BEIJING (Reuters) – Imprisoned Chinese AIDS activist Hu Jia is suffering from a serious disease, possibly liver cancer, his wife said Thursday after making a formal appeal to security forces to release him on medical parole.
Hu’s mother saw a suspected diagnosis of liver cancer on a consent form she was asked to sign when he was taken to a prison hospital for tests on March 30, his wife Zeng Jinyan said.
Hu, 36, who already suffered from cirrhosis of the liver, has been in ill health for months, she told Reuters in an interview, but was unexpectedly kept on in the hospital after the tests.
The results were supposed to be released on April 2, Zeng said, but his family have been told that they are not out yet.
"I suspect there are two possible reasons why we haven’t received results — either it is a difficult and complicated disease that is hard to diagnose, or this is a situation that will be very hard to resolve with an outlook for the patient that is not very optimistic," she said.
If Hu, due for release in 2011, is suffering from cancer it will come as a blow to China’s dissident community, after a string of high-profile detentions and sentences and a tightening of finance rules for non-profit groups.
A practicing Buddhist, Hu started with advocacy for rural AIDS sufferers and went on to become one of China’s most vocal advocates of democratic rights, religious freedom and of self-determination for Tibet.
He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison by a Chinese court in April 2008, for "inciting subversion of state power." Since 2004, he had also spent long spells under house arrest and in what rights groups describe as illegal detention.
Zeng presented her request for medical parole Thursday morning, but prison officials, she said, did not make it clear whether Hu Jia had liver cancer. And even if he did, the officials told her, he would not necessarily be given parole as there were "many factors to consider."
He would likely only be released if efforts to cure his illness failed, the officials added.
"The chance (of him getting parole) is extremely small," Zeng said hours after the meeting, adding that even if he were let out of prison he would likely still be under house arrest.
But she is throwing her energy into the bid to get him home, because prison food and living conditions will make any illness he has get rapidly worse, she said.
"Hu Jia’s health has been steadily deteriorating since he went to prison…if he stays in there until next year his liver problems will continue to get more serious."
He is a strict vegetarian, so does not get proper nourishment from prison food, is forced to do strenuous labor and has trouble sleeping, she said.
His prison conditions improved when he was moved to a "model" prison in Beijing shortly before being awarded the European Union’s top human rights prize in October 2008, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of thought.
But even though he is now allowed one monthly visit and four short phone calls with his family, he still has to shower in cold water all year round and in the hospital is still shackled.
He also has stomach pains, diarrhea, problems swallowing, and has had flu-like symptoms since last year. When she last saw him on March 18 he had lost weight, Zeng said.
China says Hu, who has been nominated and tipped as a serious contender for the Nobel Peace Prize at least twice, is a criminal who broke the law.
(Editing by Ron Popeski)