As Zeng Jinyan posted on Twitter and it was also reported by Radio Free Asia, Hu Jia became very ill when Zeng was visiting him in prison last month. Amnesty International issued an action for health professionals.

Index: ASA 17/005/2011 China (Update)
Date: 7 February 2011

To: Health professionals
From: Amnesty international


HIV and AIDS human rights activist, Hu Jia, is in serious need of medical treatment. Hu Jia is serving a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence, imposed in 2008, for “inciting subversion”. He is currently held at Beijing Municipal Prison in China’s capital. He is due to be released on 26 June 2011.

On 14 January 2011, Zeng Jinyan, Hu Jia’s wife, visited him in prison. In a letter she wrote to the Chinese authorities following the visit, she stated that Hu Jia’s health has deteriorated significantly on account of cirrhosis. According to Zeng Jinyan, Hu Jia frequently suffers from abdominal cramps, fever and diarrhoea. He has also had loss of appetite and weight loss. He is feeling very distressed about his situation.

Zeng Jinyan reports that during their meeting in January of this year, Hu Jia began to sweat profusely and the pain to the left side of his abdomen grew so unbearable he was unable to continue sitting. He became pale and laid down on four chairs. With assistance from other prisoners and prison guards, he was rushed to the prison hospital.

Previously a prison doctor has recommended that Hu Jia have surgery but as the prison hospital does not have surgical facilities, such treatment has been delayed.

Hu Jia is eligible for medical parole under Chinese law, however, repeated requests by his lawyer and family have been denied. The family has also asked the prison authorities to provide them with copies of Hu Jia’s medical records and test results in writing but such requests have been denied.


  • Explaining that you are a health professional concerned about human rights;
  • Expressing grave concern that Hu Jia’s health has deteriorated;
  • Urging the authorities to release all medical records and tests results to Hu Jia and his family;
  • Calling for the authorities to grant medical parole, as provided for in Chinese law, so he can receive the treatment he needs.


Director of Beijing Municipal Prison Management Bureau
ZHENG Zhenyuan Juzhang
No.4 Lirenjie
Xuanwu District
Beijingshi, 100054
People’s Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Director

Minister of Justice of the People’s Republic of China
WU Aiying Buzhang
10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie
Beijingshi 100020
People’s Republic of China
Fax: +86 10 65292345
Salutation: Dear Minister

And copies to:

Premier of the People’s Republic of China
WEN Jiabao Guojia Zongli
The State Council General Office
2 Fuyoujie
Beijingshi 100017
People’s Republic of China
Fax: +86 10 65961109 (c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Salutation: Your Excellency

If you receive no reply within six weeks of sending your letter, please send a follow-up letter seeking a response. Please send copies of any letters you receive to the International Secretariat, attention of the Health Team, 1 Easton Street, London WC1X 0DW or e-mail:

Additional Information

Hu Jia was in the early stages of cirrhosis of the liver and diagnosed with hepatitis B before he was imprisoned. On 12 April 2010, a doctor at the Beijing City Prison Hospital, telephoned Hu Jia’s mother and told her that the medical check found a hemangioma in his liver. The doctor explained since it is curable, Hu Jia has been sent from the prison hospital back to his cell. His family has asked that the prison provide them with the full report produced after the medical examination, including the CT scan that Hu Jia’s mother authorized, in order to confirm this diagnosis, but the prison authorities have refused. A previous prison hospital check-up found Hu Jia had gallstones, a protrusion in his liver and portal hypertension.

For more information please see: ASA 17/071/2008 – 3 April 2008 and ASA 17/013/2010 – 13 April 2010.