Hu Jia Has Convictions So He Stands Up For People’s Rights

Translation provided by a friend

The wife of imprisoned dissident Hu
Jia, Zeng Jinyan  wrote this article which is now on the website of
Yazhou Zhoukan in Hong Kong.  The Chinese text is at
and copied below.

胡佳有信念所以維權 .曾金燕


Hu Jia Has Convictions So He Stands Up For
People’s Rights by Zeng Jinyan

Hu Jia’s condition has worsened but he is
still denied medical treatment outside of prison, but he will not make a
deal at the expense of his principles

Hu Jia, for upholding the rights of
Chinese citizens, was found guilty of “the crime of inciting the
overthrow of the state”. Hu Jia has already served over two years and
three months of his sentence. He is suffering from cirrhosis of the
liver and his health is steadily deteriorating. On March 20, he entered
the prison hospital because he was thought to have liver cancer. The
authorities refused our request that he be released on bail for medical
treatment, and at the same time refused our request to examine the
report on his medical examination. I was informed that my husband Hu Jie
had already on April 9 been sent back to the prison under guard, that
the growth on his liver was a hemangioma — a blood vessel tumor — and
that regulations do not provide for a prisoner to be allowed bail for
outside medical treatment for cirrhosis of the liver.

The regular visit for the month of April
was scheduled for the afternoon of April 20, and we saw each other that
day. He is very thin, has run a high fever recently, and he had lost 4
kilograms due to diarrhea. Yet he was in good spirits, and smiled at us
from a distance. Hu Jia is very concerned about the situation in Yushu.
He asked if our friends of the wild di oxen group and their families are
safe and asked if the widow of Secretary Sonam Dorje is alright. He
asked me to burn incense for the people who had died in the earthquake
zone. I said to him, you need to take good care of yourself, and keep
both your health and your spirits up. He tries to pass each day in a
calm and good humored way. He writes the countdown of the number of days
until he will return home on each letter. If Hu Jia were writing a
letter right now, he would write: I still have 431 days to go before I
can be reunited with my family.

Hu Jia was brought up with a traditional
education. His maternal grandfather studied in Japan for eight years and
earned degrees in both political economy and law. His grandfather was a
firm believer in Tibetan Buddhism. Everyday he reads the scriptures and
prostrates himself before an image of Buddha. He was condemned to hard
labor and exile for many years because he, as director of the Beihai
Buddhist Association in 1951 held a religious assembly at the Yonghe
Temple where the Panchen Lama prayed for world peace. Hu Jia’s father,
of Qinghua University, and his mother, of Nankai University, were both
condemned as rightists as students.

Hu Jia was a rightist baby from birth.
>From his family, he inherited his forthrightness, inherited his
search for truth and his firm belief in the good. Hu Jia has never been
preoccupied with food or clothing. He is very pure, like the sunshine.
If he had been born in Europe or American he possibly would have simply
been an ordinary good citizen. In China, however, the authorities kept
him under house arrest for four years and then condemned him to prison
for three years and six months.

For me personally, the most difficult
period is probably already past. We are still young. It is hard not to
be indignant when for the sake of upholding God-given rights, he has
been detained without notice, kept under house arrest, beaten and
suffered other unjust treatment. All these things, however, helped Hu
Jia prepare for the experience of prison. I can’t guess how many
spiritual twists and turns Hu Jia has been through since that day on
December 27, 2007, when he was led away in handcuffs. He said to me, “We
must struggle to forgive those Public Security State Security
Detachment police who harm us.” He also said “Don’t be in contact with
those Public Security State Security Detachment police. Don’t ask
anything of them. Although I yearn to be out of prison even one second
quicker, it must not be as the cost of trading in our principles to them
in some deal.” We promised each other not to fritter away our time.
While awaiting our reunion, we must live each day as fully and learning
as much as we can all the while. I have already prepared myself for
three and a half years in jail. Hu Jia’s mother said to him several
times, live well, take care of your physical and spiritual health. Hu’s
mother is a remarkable woman. She lived as an exiled rightist laborer
for 22 years and suffered much unjust treatment. This never broke her
down, but on the contrary made her a strong, tenacious and magnanimous

The subscriptions to the magazines and
newspapers that Hu Jia reads in prison come to most of his living
expenses. He follows current events even more closely than we who live
outside prison do. He asked me to make a contribution on his behalf for
the Sichuan earthquake victims, to buy annual editions of books, to
speak out for educational reform, and to cast a ballot for the election
of Han Han as one of Time Magazines 100 most influential people. When he
speaks with us, he speaks very mildly. The most something upsets him,
such as solitary confinement or illness) the more lightly he speaks of
it to us. This reassures us some, and makes us feel that his spirit has
not been broken. I can go so far as to say with a teary smile, the
disaster of prison has tempered both Hu Jia and myself. This tempering
has made us more mature and steady.



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