The Weekly Standard
Tomorrow Beijing will put on trial one of its most ardent human rights campaigners. Hu Jia, 34, faces charges of “inciting subversion of state power.” Evidence to be used against him includes articles he posted on an overseas Chinese-language website and statements he made during interviews with foreign journalists.
For his work as an activist, Hu, a devout Buddhist, has been called “modern Chinaâ€™s conscience.” He called attention to the plight of AIDS orphans whose parents were victims of a scandal involving tainted blood at public blood banks. In June 2004, he was detained for attempting to lay a wreath on Tiananmen Square to honor the victims of the 1989 crackdown on democracy demonstrators.
In February 2006, Hu was abducted by agents of the Beijing public security bureau, driven with a hood over his head to a rural location, and held captive for 41 days. Although suffering from hepatitis-B, Hu was denied medication while his kidnappers interrogated him concerning a hunger strike he had joined to protest police brutality in China.
Upon his release, Hu was kept under house arrest until February 2007. During this time, his wife was tailed by security agents wherever she went. In May 2007, Hu and his wife were both put under house arrest for “endangering state security.” A video diary titled “Prisoners in Freedom City” depicting their life under surveillance
While the evil deeds in these stories are bad, the feedback they generate for Beijing is good. It’s important that the Beijing Olympics not be boycotted, but it’s also imported that the Chinese citizens who use the Olympics to magnify their voices be heard. The solution for China will ultimately be further liberalization, a more harmonious society that spreads opportunity.
That goodness for the Beijing Olympics, and the embarrassment its helping to generate.