Spindelegger: Joy over release of Chinese Sakharov Prize winner Hu Jia
Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger delighted that Chinese dissident Hu Jia is out of jail
Vienna, 27 June 2011 – Following the release of Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei last week, Chinese dissident and Sakharov Prize winner Hu Jia was also released from prison yesterday after more than three years in custody. “Hu Jia’s release has been met with great relief at the international level,” said a delighted Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger.
In April 2008, Hu Jia was sentenced to three and a half years for “inciting subversion” after writing articles and giving interviews in which he expressed criticism of the Chinese government. According to the court ruling his political rights remain suspended for another year. Hu Jia, who is 37, became known internationally through his commitment to civil rights, freedom of religion, environmental protection and the needs of people suffering from AIDS. On 23 October 2008, he was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament.
“Hu Jia, his wife and his small daughter have paid a high price for their commitment. I hope that in future the family can lead the life to which every Chinese citizen is entitled according to Chinese law,” continued Spindelegger, emphasising that Austria will closely watch future developments in this regard.
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