News about imprisoned Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia’s deteriorating health condition was made public last Thursday (8 April), initially via Twitter, then through Reuters and the Associated Press. Since then Hu Jia’s wife Zeng Jinyan has been waiting anxiously for the result of a medical parole application, which she lodged on behalf of Hu Jia on 7 April. Today, she was told that the application had been formally rejected, on the grounds that Hu Jia’s cirrhosis failed to meet the conditions for medical parole. In her devastation, Ms Zeng published another public appeal on her blog, where she expressed strong dissatisfaction with prison authorities for withholding information about Hu Jia’s medical tests, and about the latest diagnosis of liver haemangioma. Thanks to the Siweiluozi’s Blog for an English translation of Ms Zeng’s blog post, which I am quoting in full below:
Application for Medical Parole for Hu Jia Formally Rejected
The head of Beijing Prison Hospital called Hu’s mother on 4/12, told her that Hu had been transferred back to prison on 4/9 and that the growth on his liver was a hemangioma [benign tumor of endothelial cells] and that his cirrhosis does not meet the conditions for medical parole. His high fever and diarrhea in March was diagnosed as “subclinical hyperthyroidism.”
I have concerns about the statements of the prison authorities.
I subsequently contacted the prison administration department and requested written copies of all of Hu’s medical records, but the prison administration department employee refused.
On April 8, when we spoke with the hospital director, the director of prison administration and the person responsible for medical parole, there was no indication that Hu would be released from hospital the next day. On the afternoon of the 8th, I went public with the information that Hu was in hospital and called for his immediate release on medical parole.
I [previously] applied for medical parole on 5/12/09 and was told that Hu could not be released on medical parole.
The verbal response today to the 4/8/10 request for medical parole is that Hu’s cirrhosis doesn’t meet the conditions for medical parole.
Since 5/09, the prison has refused to provide the family with copies of any medical test reports, only informing the family of test results verbally. The authorities lied about the test results following Hu’s 41-day disappearance in 2006, leading to a failure to treat Hu’s cirrhosis. Given this, I am extremely worried.
In January 2009, Hu stopped taking lamivudine antiviral medication because his body had grown resistant to it. The prison provided Hu with Silybin Meglumine (produced by Hunan Xieli Pharmaceutical Co.)
I have asked Hu Jia to keep a health diary, and from his letters home we discovered that his health has been continually worsening. For years, he has been unable to recover from colds and suffers from frequent abdominal cramps, dull stomach pains, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever, and weight loss. The condition of his cirrhosis is extremely unstable. On March 30, because of continued high fever, diarrhea, and an unknown 3cm growth on his liver, Hu was admitted to Beijing Prison Bureau’s Central Hospital.
- By whatever means, Hu must return home for treatment and recuperation as soon as possible to prevent continued and accelerating worsening of his condition.
- While Hu remains incarcerated, he should be moved to a new cellblock, he should be provided with an appropriately nutritious diet, he should be given an appropriate amount of time to rest, and he should not be required to do any physical labor.
- The prison should provide the family with written documentation of all medical tests.
12 April 2010
The Internet community led by Chinese scholars such as Cui Weiping and Ai Xiaoming despatched an urgent appeal to various prison authorities in Beijing on 10 April. The letters were co-signed by more than 300 netizens from around the world. My understanding is that the organiser has started another round of signature collection. Those who would like to join our call for the urgent release of Hu Jia can find more information from this website.