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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora