Hu Jia (WSJ Lawblog)

If terms like “Kafkaesque” or “Orwellian” haven’t already come to mind when reading about the saga of Hu Jia — the Chinese blogger who was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for subversion of state power — check out the latest news from China.
On Monday, Hu faced an appeals deadline for his case. But when his lawyer, Li Fangping, showed up at the detention center where Hu was being held to ask if he wanted to appeal his conviction, Li was told by prison guards that Hu was not available because he was undergoing a medical examination. Here’s the NYT story.
According to the story, Li said he waited for several hours as prison guards prevented a meeting. He said he eventually drafted a motion for an appeal, but a guard refused to forward it to Hu for his signature. Instead, the guard instructed Li to mail the motion to the court, which he did a day later. I definitely can say that my work as a lawyer has been seriously restricted, said Li.
Hu’s wife, Zeng Jinyan, said she had tried to call the judge in charge of the case, but no one answered the telephone. I dont think we can do anything about the situation right now, unless the judicial system in China makes changes, she said.
Yesterday, reports the NYT, Hus case was raised by reporters at the Chinese Foreign Ministrys regular news briefing. Jiang Yu, a ministry spokeswoman, said, the case has been dealt with according to the law of process and the law of China.

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