Dutch Minister Slams China on Dissident’s Arrest

Radio Netherlands, 02 February 2008-

Groningen – Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen has criticised China for the arrest of human rights activist Hu Jia just over one month ago.

At the opening of an exhibition about China in Groningen in the north of the Netherlands, he said he regretted the Chinese move. He called on the government in Beijing to do the right thing and allow Mr Hu to continue his work, which includes championing the rights of people with HIV-AIDS.

The 34-year-old dissident was arrested towards the end of December on charges of inciting subversion of state power. This followed his taking part via the Internet in a European Parliament hearing on human rights in China.

Human rights organisations say his arrest is another example of the Chinese government dealing more harshly with dissidents in the run-up to the Olympic Games.

- Orginal report from Radio Netherlands