Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the conviction and sentencing of human rights activist Hu Jia by the Chinese government. Hu has been an outspoken critic of the human rights record of the Chinese government and called on the international community to hold Beijing responsible for the promises it made when bidding to host the Olympic games. This week, Hu was sentenced to three and half years in prison for “incitement to subvert state power.”
“The conviction and harsh sentencing of Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia should dispel any notion that Beijing would permit strong criticism of government policies by the Chinese people preceding the Olympic Games.
“There is disturbing new evidence that the imprisonment of Hu Jia is part of a broader pre-Olympic crackdown on peaceful activists including journalists, lawyers, and human rights defenders. Amnesty International released a new report this week providing evidence that the Chinese government is intensifying its crackdown on human rights activists because of the Beijing Olympics.
“The Olympic Games in Beijing should provide an opportunity for more free expression, not less. The international community must speak out to press the Chinese government to live up to its promises to improve human rights before the Olympic games.
“Hu Jia is risking his life, family and freedom so he can speak the truth. I call on the Chinese government to immediately and unconditionally release Hu Jia from prison and to respect the fundamental freedoms of all the people in China.”