In the News: Chinese Dissident Wins Human Rights Prize

Controversial Chinese dissident Hu Jia has won the European Union’s top human rights prize despite warnings from the Chinese government that his selection could harm relations with the 27-nation bloc. Hu had chronicled the arrest and harassment of other human rights activists before being sentenced in April to three-and-a-half years in prison. Beijing authorities say he plotted to work with foreigners to disturb the Summer Olympic Games in August. Hu was selected by members of the European Parliament from a shortlist of three candidates that also included activists from Belarus and Congo. He began his work by fighting for the rights of AIDS patients, but his scope expanded once he concluded that China’s problems were rooted in what he determined was a nationwide lack of human rights.

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