Activist Hu Jia Gets Three and a Half Years

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Activist Hu Jia, about whom we have written often (and whose wife Zeng Jinyan–who is under house arrest– we tried to see in February but were impeded by the police) has been found guilty on a charge of “inciting the overthrow of state power” (煽动颠覆国家政权罪). He was given a sentence of three and a half years. Although his family knew prospects were grim, they were nourishing some small hope that he might receive some sort of suspended sentence as happened in the case of public interest lawyer and writer Gao Zhisheng. Gao was convicted on the same catch-all charge and got a three year sentence. Given everything else that is going on, this is further confirmation that the authorities are heading down the road of seriously tightening their grip ahead of the Olympics rather than any relaxation, as once (naively?) postulated. For my take on why that was inevitable, see this week’s magazine, which comes out today. I’ll get up a link once it is available. Link here.