HIV/AIDS activist Hu Jia and his wife Zeng Jinyan were barred from leaving Beijing last Friday for their speaking tour in Europe. The police placed them under house arrest because they were suspected of “endangering state security.” Radio Free Asia – Mandarin Service reached Hu by phone earlier today and further learned that he was beaten by police last Sunday when he attempted to leave home for grocery shopping since Zeng is three-month pregnant. Moments after Hu’s encounter with police, Zeng received a phone call from her family in Fujian province and was told that her grandfather passed away. The couple left Beijing today for the funeral. They were followed by police all the way from home to the city of Xiamen in Fujian.

The couple’s latest experience with the authorities came shortly after Zeng was selected earlier this month as Time magazine’s one of 100 most influential people in the world. She was recognized for blogging about the couple’s experience under the repressive government. Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post called Zeng, “Tiananmen 2.0” – “the online progeny of the protester who blocked a column of advancing tanks during China’s Tiananmen uprising in 1989.”

In addition to blogging, Zeng edited video footage taken by Hu when he was under house arrest for 214 days last year. The 30-minute documentary was to be shown in Europe during their visit. Their latest house arrest and the upcoming anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown may prevent the film from being shown.

Related news and links: