‘431 days to go until I can come home and be united with my family.’

On 19 April in the afternoon the prison
administration called us and said we could see Hu Jia on the following day. We
saw him yesterday afternoon.

He is very thin; he lost two
while he was suffering from diarrhea in recent
weeks. But he was in fairly good spirits, smiling at us through the glass. This
managed to alleviate the shock his mother had suffered when she saw him—in shackles—in
the prison hospital on
30 March 2010. And Baobao [our daughter Qianci’s nickname] was really
lovely, too; she greeted him ‘Hello Daddy…Daddy, are you thinking of
me?…Dad, I want to eat chocolate…Dad, I want to play sticks’ in a loud
voice…when we set out from home that day, she had said in a very surly way,
‘we’re going to Daddy’s kindergarten now.’ During our conversation she
frequently interrupted us by speaking to her Daddy and that made Hu Jia really

Hu Jia’s prison life is just as before. He does not currently suffer from a
high fever or diarrhea and is taking two kinds of western medicine, one kind to
treat liver cirrhosis and another kind to treat the subclinical
hyperthyroidism. When I saw him I asked Hu Jia if he knew his HB5 and viral
load results; he said he still didn’t know; he had applied for this information
but they had not told him yet. I asked him detailed questions about his time in
hospital and he told us that they had taken 15 blood samples for tests and that
the doctor had told him that his results showed that he had subclinical
hyperthyroidism and that he wasn’t clear as to the other [tests].
Hu Jia was very concerned about the situation in Jyeku/Yushu and asked whether
the friends from the Wild Yak Brigade and other friends as well as the family
of the widow of Secretary Sonam Dhargye were alright. He asked me to light
incense for the victims who died in the earthquake on his behalf.
The half-hour meeting was over very quickly. Afterward, we met the people in
charge at the prison hospital. We asked him for Hu Jia’s HB5 and viral load
results. The person responsible for the prison hospital told us that his HB5
values were plus two or three and that the viral load measured in March was 0.5
above the normal. (If I remember correctly, the scientific method is to
multiply that figure by 10^5) but that the status of Hu Jia’s liver disease was
on the whole good. This person’s attitude was very good, he explained things
with great patience and spoke in a humane way; he made me feel that he was a
very good doctor.

But the prison and the prison hospital are still not providing any written test
results and not approving medical parole.

I once said to Hu Jia, ‘while you’re inside we cannot help you; so you really
must take good care of yourself and try and stay in good mental and physical
shape.’ He is getting through each day with a peaceful mindset and in each
letter to his family he notes how many days away he is from returning home. If
he is writing us a letter today it should be: ‘431 days to go until I can come
home and be united with my family.’



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