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Hu Jia

Sakharov Prize

The European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought has been awarded this year to Chinese political activist Hu Jia, EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering announced in Strasbourg.

Hu Jia began his work as a human rights defender in the late 1990s when he became involved in environmental activism. Following this he turned his attention to advocating on behalf of those living with HIV/AIDS and campaigning in support of other human rights defenders facing consistent government harassment. In October 2008 Hu Jia was awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

Chinese HRDs face intimidation, harassment, house arrest, abductions, torture and imprisonment. They also work under very restrictive legislation, including laws which criminalize all unauthorized demonstrations and require government sponsorship for NGO registration, which is refused to any organisation touching on human rights issues. Widescale investigations into NGOs with links to overseas organisations took place in 2014 and 2015 resulting in harassment, detentions and forced closures.


Hu Jia