Subverting state power? State secret.

So its February and were all remarking how quickly the year is passing. But Chinese activist Hu Jia wont be feeling this way.

He was detained, reportedly by about 30 security officers, in his dining room two days after Christmas and has spent the whole of January locked up without access to his lawyer. Now we learn that Hu Jia has been formally arrested, accused of inciting subversion of state power.

According to the BBC, officials had grown tired of his efforts to support human rights cases across the country. He had become a kind of one-man clearing house for information, passing it on to journalists, organisations and foreign embassies.

In her Comment is Free piece, Isabel Hilton underlines how Hu Jias video postings, now on YouTube, His blog, the photographs and the demonstrations of support for him both on the Internet and in real life testify to the power of his non-violent protest.

According to another blog, Hu's case has been formally classified as a "state secret," meaning that it could be seven months before he can meet with his lawyer and if the case goes to trial the court will be required to bar the public from all but the final verdict announcement.

Amnesty International is urging the Chinese authorities to press ahead with reforms in the run-up to this summers Beijing Olympics and fair trial and protection of human rights defenders are among the areas we are highlighting.

We want China to keep its promise to use the Games to help the development of human rights and in line with the principles of Olympism.

Meanwhile, Chinese New Year approaches and Ive noticed what a huge marketing opportunity it has become, including for a beer you probably know the one I mean -actually produced in Singapore. No matter, the companys website allows us to make a wish for Chinese New Year and Im going to wish that China keeps that promise.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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