Chinese Blogger Zeng Jinyan Reunited with Freed Husband Hu Jia

by Olivia Stransky    /  July 18, 2011  / No comments



Zeng Jinyan
Zeng Jinyan. Photo: Shizhao

On June 26th, Hu Jia, his wife Zeng Jinyan, and their young daughter were reunited under the same roof for the first time in three and a half years. Hu Jia, a well-known Chinese political activist, was imprisoned in 2008 for “incitement to subvert state power.” He and Zeng Jinyan were leading voices in China opposing the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

One day before the opening ceremony of the Olympics, Zeng Jinyan and her infant daughter were “disappeared”; it was later discovered that she was forced to leave Beijing and had rented an apartment in Shenzen.

In anticipation of Hu Jia’s release, Zeng Jinyan was evicted from that apartment and arrived in Beijing where she tweeted “As I was getting off the plane, eight people came and took me away, they even took my luggage.” The second one said: “I think this is how life is going to be after [Hu Jia is released].”

Zeng Jinyan became famous for her blog which she began writing in 2006 while under house arrest with Hu Jia. She is noted for having a “deadpan Eastern European” style which creates an absurdist element to the daily struggles of the family.

While under house arrest Zeng Jinyan also filmed a documentary chronicling her family’s life during the seven month house arrest. This 31-minute film is entitled Prisoners of Freedom City and was put online for free while the couple were still under house arrest. Watch a clip of the film here:

The fate of the couple is currently unclear. Hu Jia is likely to be placed under house arrest, and his health has deteriorated considerably while in prison. Though Zeng Jinyan has resumed her activity on the internet, it is not certain that she is writing of her own free will.

Read more Sampsonia Way articles about Chinese activists
Chinese Activists Arrested While the International Eye is on Other Countries
The Protest Movement in China. Is Jasmine a Chinese Flower?
Tsering Woeser: Fearless Reporting Behind China’s Great Firewall

About the Author

Olivia Stransky is an editorial assistant and video editor for Sampsonia Way. She received her B.A. in literature and film from Bard College at Simon’s Rock. While a student, she worked as the editor-in-chief of Glacial Erratic, Simon’s Rock’s literary and arts magazine. After graduating she received a grant to serve as a Fulbright Scholar in Slovakia, where she taught English literature and conversation at Univerzita Komenského in Bratislava.

View all articles by Olivia Stransky

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