China Daily: Hu Jia sentenced to 3.5 years in jail

The China Daily published a Xinhua report today:

Hu Jia sentenced to 3.5 years in jail

Hu Jia was sentenced Thursday by the Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court to three and half years imprisonment, with one year deprivation of political rights, for subverting the state.

The verdict said Hu, a married father aged 34 and the holder of a college degree, libeled the Chinese political and social systems, and instigated subversion of the state, which is a crime under Chinese law.

Considering Hu’s confession of crime and acceptance of punishment, the court decided the ruling with leniency and announced a less harsh prison sentence.

The court heard that from August 2006 to October 2007, Hu published articles on overseas-run websites, made comments in interviews with foreign media, and repeatedly instigated other people to subvert the Chinese political and socialist systems.

In his two website articles, ‘China Political Law-enforcement Organs Create Large-scale Horror ahead of CPC National Congress’, and ‘One Country Doesn’t Need Two Systems’, Hu spread malicious rumors, libel and instigation, in an attempt to subvert the state’s political and socialist systems, the court said in the verdict.

The articles written by Hu and his interviews were widely relayed by overseas-run websites, the court said.

The news has also been covered, in a somewhat different way, by Chris Buckley of Reuters, by John Kennedy at Global Voices, and by Simon Elegant at the Time blog, and soon in the magazine after the traditional media gears grind their way to it.

Interestingly, the Xinhua report that ran in the China Daily was published on Xinhua’s English website this morning, but has since been deleted.

Hu Jia is not a name that will be easy for China’s Net Nanny to harmonize off the Internet: the activist Hu Jia uses the exact same characters as the diving champion and Olympic gold hopeful of the Games: 胡佳.

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