Wife of Chinese Dissident Sees Husband Before Release

Posted June 21st, 2011 at 1:25 am (UTC-5)
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The wife of a leading Chinese dissident says she has been taken to see her husband in prison ahead of his scheduled release on Sunday.

Zeng Jinyan, the wife of prominent dissident Hu Jia, has written on her Twitter account and confirmed to journalists that she was detained by eight men when she arrived from southern China at Beijing's airport on Sunday. She said she was taken to see her husband on Monday and has since been allowed to return to her home in Beijing.

Zeng declined in e-mail interviews to answer any other questions about Hu's planned release, offering apologies to her “media friends.” She said her husband will be legally barred from speaking to the media for one year after his release.

Hu, a leading campaigner for AIDS victims and other causes, was jailed for three and a half years for subversion ahead of the 2008 Olympics. He was honored that year with the European parliament's highest human rights award, the Sakharov prize.

Zeng moved with the couple's four-year-old daughter to the southern city of Shenzhen in April in hopes of escaping constant police surveillance in Beijing. However she was recently evicted from a rented apartment in the city.

She says she returned to Beijing on Sunday to prepare for her husband's release. She says hopes Hu will spend the next year treating a liver ailment and taking care not to be arrested again.