Dear all,

Please endorse a letter concerning Hu Jia’s detainment. (see the letter far below)

The issue was discussed in the middle of March on ITPC listserv. – Chinese democracy and HIV activist has been detained and is on trial with possible imprisonment.

Thank you all and please distribute this message widely to your contacts and other mailing lists.

Please email your signature (including name/surname, organisation( or individual) and country) to [email protected] org by next Tuesday 1, April 2008 at the latest.

Ed Ngoksin

Communications assistant

ITPC Secretariat

————

The Honourable President of the People's Republic of China  

Mr Hu Jintao 

Zhongnanhai, Xichengqu, Beijing City  

People's Republic of China  

Dear President Hu Jintao:

We are individuals and organizations working on the front lines of the global fight as HIV activists against the AIDS epidemic in different countries of the world. 

We are writing to express our deep concern for our colleague, Hu Jia, who is also an HIV activist. According to reliable reports, Hu Jia was charged on January 30th with "inciting state subversion". His wife, Zeng Jinyan, has also been prevented from leaving their home, along with their baby.  We are writing to call for Hu Jia's release, as well as the release of his wife and child from house arrest.

The success of different countries in responding to HIV is based largely on all the stake-holders, including government and civil society, working together. Therefore it is our considered view that civil society activists, however critical they are of the government, are necessary partners in the fight against HIV.

Chinese authorities have frequently stated a commitment to including civil society in the fight against AIDS. NGOs and individual activists can effectively reach out to people with AIDS and those most vulnerable to the epidemic in ways that are difficult for authorities. China needs to work with HIV activists like Hu Jia. His incarceration does not help in the fight against HIV.

In practice, many of our Chinese colleagues, from rural villagers to educated urban activists like Hu Jia, continue to face political harassment by authorities around the country. This summer, an AIDS and law conference in Guangzhou which some of us planned to participate in was shut down. In August, two offices of an AIDS organization in Henan were shut down. In December, AIDS advocate Wan Yanhai was detained. Recently, a group of rural people infected with HIV through hospital blood transfusions who requested copies of their medical records from their hospitals were beaten by hospital staff.

Actions like these undermine the progress China has made in recent years in combating AIDS.

Advocates like Hu Jia are a critical part of the fight against AIDS. Hu Jia has inspired many, in China and in other countries as well, through his work on AIDS and the rights of HIV positive persons. He has offered support, assistance, education and information to many organizations and individuals. He has given voice to others who were afraid to speak.

China needs Hu Jia in the battle against AIDS.

We respectfully request that the government drop all charges against Hu Jia and release him immediately.

Sincerely,

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