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Liver Cancer Suspected, Activist Hu Jia Seeks Medical Parole

April 9, 2010

On April 7, 2010, activist and documentary filmmaker Zeng Jinyan (曾金燕) circulated an urgent appeal for help regarding a feared liver cancer diagnosis of her husband Hu Jia (胡佳), the environmental and AIDS activist who is serving a three-and-a-half-year sentence in Beijing.  She also circulated applications for Hu’s medical parole, along with a bail guarantee by Hu’s mother, Feng Juan (冯娟). Authorities have reportedly told Hu’s lawyer that medical parole is unlikely to be granted.

Zeng has authorized Human Rights in China to prepare and release English translations of her appeal, the applications for medical parole, and the bail guarantee (see below).

A vocal critic of the Chinese government’s human rights violations, Hu was subjected to detention and house arrest many times as well as near constant police surveillance prior to his imprisonment. On April 3, 2008, after being held by police for more than three months, Hu was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power.” He entered prison in ill health, having been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver in 2006.

Hu is the recipient of the 2008 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought awarded by the European Parliament.

 

Hu Jia Enters Hospital with Suspected Liver Cancer;
Zeng Jinyan’s Urgent Appeal

April 7, 2010

[Translation by Human Rights in China]

Imprisoned for more than two years and three months, Hu Jia (胡佳) has continuously suffered the torment of illness. Because of suspected liver cancer, Hu was checked into a prison hospital on March 30.  However, as of today, his family has been unable to obtain a diagnosis. Worried that Hu Jia’s health could worsen, and that conditions in prison are detrimental to his treatment and recuperation, we appeal to the Beijing Municipal Prison Administration Bureau to process medical parole for Hu Jia in accordance with the law.

---------------------------------

On the morning of March 30, 2010, it was overcast and drizzling in Beijing. In a long hallway of the Beijing Municipal Prison Administration Bureau Hospital Center, located at No. 9, East You Anmen Street in Xuanwu District, Hu Jia, wearing a gray prison uniform, walked slowly toward his mother. His shackled hands lifted the chains of his leg-irons to reduce the pains from walking. Trying to suppress her voice, his mother still cried and said: “Hu Jia, raising you for 36 years was not easy. You must take care of your health.” Hu Jia was very calm. He consoled his mother, telling her not to feel sad.

Complying with prison requirements, on the morning of the 30th, Hu Jia’s mother signed, in her capacity as his family member, a consent form for the prison hospital to conduct a CAT scan. The purpose of the scan was to make a definite diagnosis and determine if Hu Jia’s cirrhosis of the liver had become liver cancer. Since then, we family members have not seen Hu Jia again. According to a notice by phone from the prison, Hu Jia checked into the Beijing Municipal Prison Administration Bureau Hospital Center on that day [March 30].  We have been calling the prison and [his] doctor almost every day, inquiring about Hu Jia’s diagnostic results. Prison officials and [his] doctor replied that test results have not come out yet. Based on what the hospital said initially, the test results would have been made available for the family on April 2. However, as of today, (April 7), we have not received the diagnosis of Hu Jia’s condition.

On the morning of October 10, 2008, the day when the Nobel Peace Prize winner was announced, Hu Jia was transferred from Chaobai prison in Tianjin to the Beijing Municipal Prison in the southern suburb of Beijing. When he entered prison, he was suffering from the early stages of cirrhosis of the liver.

In 2009, Hu Jia's condition fluctuated. Through tests, he was found to have gallstones, polypoid lesions of the gallbladder, and portal hypertension. He suffered flu-like symptoms all year round. He had frequent stomach cramps and dull pains, diarrhea, low appetite, low fevers and weight loss. In March 2010, he had a high fever for approximately two consecutive weeks, his body temperature reaching 39 degrees Celsius [102.2 degrees Fahrenheit] every afternoon. He had a sore throat and difficulty swallowing food. Tests showed an unidentified object about three centimeters in diameter on Hu Jia's liver.

Hu Jia is a strict vegetarian. The prison environment, unable to provide the necessary treatments and nourishments for patients with cirrhosis of the liver, is causing Hu Jia's health to continue to deteriorate. Whether or not the diagnosis will now show a progression of his illness into liver cancer, the conditions in prison will inevitably accelerate the deterioration of his liver disease. I sincerely urge friends to try their best to help bring Hu Jia home earlier so we can protect his health and stem the rapid deterioration of his illness which could lead to irreversible consequences.

 

Zeng Jinyan, wife of Hu Jia

Telephone and e-mail: 13810673273; zengjinyan[at]gmail.com

Beijing, China

 


Application for Medical Parole
Presented and Delivered to the Beijing Municipal Prison Administration Bureau,
The Beijing Municipal Prison 

April 7, 2010

[Translation by Human Rights in China]

Hu Jia (胡嘉), formerly Hu Jia (胡佳), was born on July 25, 1973. On April 3, 2008, Hu Jia was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for “inciting subversion of state power.” His prison term started on December 27, 2007, and will end on June 26, 2011. At present, he is being detained in the Beijing Municipal Prison. 
 

Prior to his imprisonment, Hu Jia suffered from chronic cirrhosis of the liver. Upon his discharge from the Beijing Ditan Hospital on May 9, 2006, Hu Jia’s doctor described his diagnosis as “active, decompensate cirrhosis on the tip of the liver, type B, portal hypertension, declining spleen functions, chronic cholecystitis and polypoid lesions of the gallbladder.” Cirrhosis of the liver is an irreversible condition and there is no cure. The most that can be hoped for is to maintain its current condition so the cirrhosis does not expand.  Patients with cirrhosis of the liver require guaranteed good nourishment and rest.

On October 10, 2008, Hu Jia was transferred from Chaobai Prison in Tianjin to the Beijing Municipal Prison situated in the southern suburbs of Beijing. Doctors there administered him liver function tests regularly and monitored his health conditions. In January 2009, Hu Jia stopped taking the antiviral Lamivudine after developing a resistance to it.   


In 2009, Hu Jia's condition fluctuated. During subsequent tests, he was found to have gallstones, polypoid lesions of the gallbladder and portal hypertension. He suffered from flu-like symptoms all year round. He had frequent stomach cramps and dull pains, diarrhea, little appetite, low fever as well as weight loss. In March 2010, he had a high fever for two consecutive weeks, during which his body temperature approached 39 degrees Celsius [102.2 degrees Fahrenheit] every afternoon. Tests showed an unidentified object about three centimeters long on Hu Jia's liver. On March 30, because of suspicions that his liver cirrhosis had progressed into liver cancer, Hu Jia was checked into the Beijing Prison Administration Bureau Central Hospital. Prison authorities say his diagnostic results are not yet known.

However, whatever his final diagnosis turns out to be, it is an established fact that his illness continues to worsen. In order to provide better treatment for Hu Jia so his illness does not deteriorate further, causing irreversible consequences, and to help reduce the Beijing Municipal Prison’s burden of treatment and monitoring services, I hereby submit my application to the Beijing Municipal Prison Administration Bureau, requesting temporary medical treatment for Hu Jia outside the prison system in accordance with law.

Hu Jia has served two years and three months in prison. His liver cirrhosis has progressed to the decompensated stage. Long-term medical treatment has proven ineffective. In accordance with the relevant provisions of “Measures to Implement Medical Parole for Criminals” (issued by the Department of Justice in 1990, No. 247) and “The Scope of Diseases, Injuries and Disabilities Eligible for Medical Parole for Criminals” (Article 5: Various types of decompensated cirrhosis, such as portal cirrhosis, post-necrotic cirrhosis, biliary cirrhosis, cardiac cirrhosis, schistosomiasis cirrhosis), Hu Jia’s conditions have met the outlined statutory requirements for medical parole. 

We kindly seek your approval.

Sincerely,

Applicant: Zeng Jinyan, wife of Hu Jia
Tel: 13810673273 




Application for Medical Parole
Presented and Delivered to the Beijing Municipal Prison Administration Bureau,
The Beijing Municipal Prison
April 7, 2010

[Translation by Human Rights in China]

I am Hu Jia, who has been convicted of “inciting subversion of state power.” My prison term started on December 27, 2007 and will end on June 26, 2011. I have served two years and three months of my term. I am a strict vegetarian and a patient suffering from liver cirrhosis. From May 2006 to January 2009, I took the antiviral drug, Lamivudine to treat my illness. Under the guidance of the medical personnel at the prison hospital, I stopped taking Lamivudine after developing a resistance to the drug. Recently, my health conditions have deteriorated. I am now staying in the Beijing Municipal Prison Administration Bureau Hospital Center.  
 

In accordance with Article 214 of “The Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China” and based on the relevant provisions in “Measures to Implement Medical Parole for Criminals” (issued by the Department of Justice in 1990, No. 247) and “The Scope of Diseases, Injuries and Disabilities Eligible for Medical Parole for Criminals,” I am applying to the Beijing Municipal Prison Administration Bureau for medical parole.
Please grant my request.    


Sincerely,

Applicant


Bail Guarantee for Medical Parole
Presented and Delivered to the Beijing Municipal Prison Administration Bureau,
 The Beijing Municipal Prison 
April 7, 2010

[Translation by Human Rights in China]

I am Feng Juan, a resident of Beijing. I am currently 72 years old. I am Hu Jia’s mother. Hu Jia has cirrhosis of the liver and his illness has deteriorated lately. He is in urgent need of good nourishment and treatment. I am willing to be a guarantor, requesting medical parole for Hu Jia. I will be responsible for covering all the living and medical expenses during Hu Jia’s medical parole. In addition, I will act as his supervisor and communicator during his medical parole. I request approval of my application by the Beijing Municipal Prison Administration Bureau.

Sincerely, 


Applicant: Feng Juan
Tel: 010-81929887

 

For more information on Hu Jia, see:

For an English translation of Teng Biao and Hu Jia's article on human rights in the lead-up to the Olympics, see: