News / Asia

Prominent Chinese Activist Beaten in Beijing

FILE - Chinese dissident Hu Jia talks on his phone during a meeting at a restaurant in Beijing, April 10, 2013.
FILE - Chinese dissident Hu Jia talks on his phone during a meeting at a restaurant in Beijing, April 10, 2013.

Prominent Chinese activist Hu Jia says thugs ambushed him in the streets of Beijing and left him with a fractured nose.  The outspoken human rights supporter says he believes the attackers were plainclothes police out to teach him a lesson and deter him from his activism.

Activist Hu Jia told VOA he was assaulted late Wednesday outside a subway station where he parked his car earlier in the day.

"It was raining, so I was carrying an umbrella. With that it was more difficult for people to see my face. But they recognized me after I pressed the button to open my car, and within seconds they jumped on me and started with the beating targeting my eyes," he said.

After punching and kicking him for two minutes, Hu says the men left using a car driven by a third man.

A CT scan at a nearby hospital revealed a fracture on the bridge of Hu's nose.

The men did not wear a uniform, but Hu says he is certain they were plainclothes police.

Hu says he wanted to fight back, but the assailants were too strong and it was clear they knew how to beat people. He says they did not call him by name or tell him why they were beating him. Hu says they only repeated “I teach you a lesson” with a low voice.

Short of a general warning for his activism, Hu says the specific lesson they sought to teach him remains unclear.

The attack against Hu comes amid a general crackdown against political speech in civil society.

On Friday, a court in Beijing will pronounce the verdicts against two members of the New Citizens Movement, a group founded by legal scholar Xu Zhiyong to promote government transparency and more equal education policies.

The organization has become the target of authorities who jailed its founder and put on trial scores of other members.

On social media, Hu Jia had called for people to gather outside the courtroom Friday to show support for the defendants, charged with "gathering a crowd to disrupt public order".

Hu Jia also endorsed Occupy Central, a political movement that calls for democracy in Hong Kong.

On the day of the attack, Hu says he was wearing an “Occupy Central” T-shirt, which authorities had warned him was too sensitive for him to wear outside the house.

“We are concerned that a prominent activist like Hu Jia is attacked in a public place, but I think it will be difficult to pin point what exactly caused this attack because we do not know who these people are,” said Ye Shiwei, senior program officer at the advocacy group Human Rights in China.

Hu started his advocacy on behalf of rural AIDS patients over a decade ago.  He became one of China's most critical voices against human rights violations and spent three-and-a-half years in jail for inciting subversion. He was released in 2011.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Comment Sorting
Comment on this forum (2)
Comments
     
by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
July 18, 2014 11:37 AM
China is like a nouveau rich. It thinks it has the money to buy airplanes, invest in Africa, the world will look up to China. Forget it, treat your citizens (including those who disagree with you) with dignity and consideration, people will flock to you.


by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
July 18, 2014 12:39 AM
This kind of negative publicity destroys China's efforts to project soft power. As so famously said, the empty chiar for Liu Xiao Bo at the Nobel Prize ceremony speaks more than a thousand words. China tries to use its big money to buy respect. Will it succeed?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid