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Published:April 4th, 2008 06:01 EST
Hu Jia prison sentence troubles US

Hu Jia prison sentence troubles US

By SOP newswire

The United States is dismayed by the sentence of three and a half years in prison announced Thursday in the case of prominent Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia under the specious charge of “inciting subversion of state power.”

Mr. Hu has consistently worked within China’s legal system to protect the rights of his fellow citizens. These types of activities support China’s efforts to institute the rule of law and should be applauded, not suppressed or punished.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pressed Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi for Hu’s immediate release during her February visit to China, and U.S. officials continue to take every opportunity to raise our concerns about Mr. Hu’s case with Chinese officials at all levels, both in Beijing and in Washington, D.C.

In this Olympic year, we urge China to seize the opportunity to put its best face forward and take steps to improve its record on human rights and religious freedom.