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Hu Jia

Beijing Furious as 'Criminal' Granted Human Rights Prize by EU

China's government heaped scorn Thursday on the European Parliament's giving a top human rights prize to jailed Chinese dissident Hu Jia, with Beijing calling him a criminal and the award interference.The harsh reaction to Hu's winning the Sakharov Prize contrasted with the friendly atmosphere Beijing was trying to project as it welcomed leaders from the European Union and Asia for a summit to tackle the global economic crisis.Adding to Beijing's fury, the European Parliament bucked a Chinese pressure campaign against giving the award to Hu, an outspoken advocate on human rights, the environment and social fairness serving a 3 1/2-year jail term for sedition."We express strong dissatisfaction to the decision by the European Parliament to issue such an award to the jailed criminal in China, in disregard of China's repeated representations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters. "It also violates universally recognized rules in the world, which is countries should treat...

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