Li Jinsong, one of
Hu Jia 's lawyers, was placed on
10 January evening, under house arrest for a few hours in a Beijing
hotel, after inviting foreign journalists to confirm that it was
impossible for him to see Hu's wife, Zeng Jinyan. He is under
surveillance by the police. His other lawyer, Li Fangping, was not
detained but he was strongly urged not to try to approach Zeng's home.
Previously, the authorities
prevented them from visiting Hu in prison on 4 January on the grounds
that the case had been classified as a "state secret."
The police today prevented a
group of foreign journalists from entering the Beijing apartment building
where Zeng, a well-known blogger, lives with the couple's two-month-old
daughter Qianci, saying it was because a "criminal
investigation" was under way. After checking their passports, the
police allowed the reporters to leave but made the photographers delete
the photos they had taken.
On 8 January, Zeng was able
to talk to some German journalists through one of the windows of her
apartment. She talked about the conditions in which her husband is being
held and how the police are preventing all his friends and relatives from
seeing her. "The police have searched the apartment several times
and have taken our computer and telephones," she said, adding:
"I am very worried about Hu Jia."
After that conversation, the
police installed a curtain to prevent Zeng from being seen from outside
the apartment. More than 20 police officers are permanently stationed
around her home. Zeng has been completely isolated since Hu's arrest,
when the phone lines and Internet connection were cut off.
A friend of Hu's told
Reporters Without Borders he had also been prevented from visiting Zeng
at home and that police officers were subsequently stationed outside his
own home. On 5 January, the police searched the home of Hu's parents to
ensure they did not have documents about his arrest that they could give
to the news media.
Hu has been held since 27
December on a charge of "inciting subversion of the state."
Referring to his arrest on 3 January, a foreign ministry spokesman said:
"Everyone is equal before the law and no one is above the law. We
are handling this case according to the law."
Li, the lawyer who was placed
under house arrest today, was awarded the French government's human
rights prize last month. French justice minister Rachida Dati met him
when she accompanied President Nicolas Sarkozy on a visit to China in
Fifty-seven Chinese activists
and writers released an open letter on 6 January calling for Hu's
immediate release and urging the police to ensure that his health does
not deteriorate while in detention. Hu has a liver ailment.
Li Jinsong is an attorney for
blind human rights champion Chen Guangcheng and the Director of Yitong
Law Firm in Beijing. He is one of the first lawyers to obtain
Certificates of Accountant and Registered Security and Tax Accountant in
China. He is also the legal and tax advisor for the China Stock Economy
Association and China Film Producers Association. Mr. Li is the first
Beijing lawyer to adopt the policy of not charging a legal fee if he
loses the case. In 2004, he found the Yitong Accounting and Tax Lawyer
Reporters Without Borders accused the Chinese authorities,
especially state security, of violating the new regulations for foreign
journalists by preventing them from visiting the wife of detained human
rights activist Hu Jia and of violating the right of Hu's lawyers to
visit their client. One of the lawyers was placed under house arrest for
a few hours.
"Despite all the appeals
from within China and throughout the world for Hu's release, the
government is taking an even tougher position by depriving his wife and
their two-month-old daughter of their freedom," the press freedom
President Hu Jintao, People’s Republic of
China, c/o Embassy of the People’s Republic of China; 2300 Connecticut
Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 20008, USA, Fax: +01 202 588-0032;
Minister of Justice of the People’s Republic
of China, Buzhang Sifabu, Wu Aiying, 10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie, Chaoyangqu,
Beijingshi 100020, People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 6529 2345;
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s
Republic of China, Buzhang Waijiaobu, Mr. Yang Jiechi, 2 Chaoyangmen
Nandajie, Beijingshi 100701, People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 6588
2594, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Ambassador Sha Zukang, Permanent Mission of
the People’s Republic of China, Chemin de Surville 11, P.O. Box 85, 1213
Petit-Lancy 2, Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7937014, E-mail:
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in
Brussels, Avenue de Tervuren, 463 1160 Auderghem, Belgium, Tel: + 32 2
663 30 10 / + 32 2 663 30 17 / +32 2 771 14 97 / +32 2 779 43 33; Fax:
+32 2 762 99 66 / +32 2 779 28 95; Email: email@example.com.
also write to the diplomatic representations of the People’s Republic of
China in your respective countries.
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