EU Honors Chinese Dissident, Enraging Beijing

Hu Jia is serving a prison sentence for 'subversion'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2008 3:26 PM CDT
In this 2006 file photo, Chinese AIDS activist Hu Jia speaks during an interview in Beijing.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A move by the European Parliament to award a major human-rights prize to a Chinese dissident has Beijing outraged on the eve of a summit on the economic crisis, the Telegraph reports. The government denounced as “gross interference in China's domestic affairs” news that the jailed Hu Jia had won prestigious Sakharov Prize; a delegation including French president Nicolas Sarkozy arrives in Beijing tomorrow.

Hu, after working and blogging on behalf of Chinese AIDS sufferers and other causes, is currently serving a 3½-year prison sentence for “subversion.” European Commission head José Manuel Barroso, also attending the summit of EU members and 16 Asian nations, says he plans to bring up human-rights issues during talks.