Human Rights Defender – Hu Shigen

27 Aug

Associated Press reported the release of a Chinese democracy activist, Hu Shigen, now aged, 53, who has served 16 years in prison for “carrying out counterrevolutionary propaganda and incitement” and “organizing a counterrevolutionary group”.

A lecturer of the Beijing Language and Culture Institute, Shigen formed the China Freedom and Democracy Party with Wang Guoqi and others in 1991. He was also part of the Chinese Progressive Alliance formed by Kang Yuchun and one of the co-founders of the China Free Trade Union Preparatory Committee.

He was detained on May 27, 1992, arrested on September of that year and subsequently sentenced to 20 years in prison and five years deprivation of political rights for his human rights work which demanded accountability for the Chinese government’s violent suppression of the June 1989 Democracy Movement. The Democracy and Freedom Party was also seen as a threat to the Communist Party which included up to 100 members of the Communist Party.

During his imprisonment at the Beijing Number 2 Prison, Shigen was said to  been tortured and harshly treated for refusing to confess remorse. According to China Forum, he is suffering from ‘intestinal and heart ailments,malnutrition and chronic migraines, and requires a hearing aid… More recently, Hu has suffered the dislocation of several vertebrae,and friends worry that he will become paralyzed if his condition is not treated…

According to Epoch Times, fellow activists were prevented from meeting the dissident upon his release. Shigen is also banned from interviews as he is still deprived of his political rights. He is reported to be planning a trip home in Jiangxi to pay his late mother respect as he was imprisoned while she passed away in 1999.

– References –

Mosher, S 2004, ‘Prisoner Profile – Hu Shigen’, China Rights Forum, accessed 27 August 2008.

‘Dissident released after 16 years in jail in China’, Associated Press, accessed 27 August 2008.

‘China frees dissident Hu after 16 years’, Epoch Times, accessed 27 August 2008.

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