The Norwegian Nobel Committee
Henrik Ibsens Gate 51
September 30, 2010
Dear Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee:
My name is Luoji Guo. I was a professor of philosophy at Beijing University and at Nanjing University before I came to the United States in 1992. While still in China, I began serving as a board member of Human Rights in China, a New York based NGO promoting human rights in China. I was also elected an active member of the New York Academy of Sciences in 1992.
After coming to the United Sates, I held a number of academic positions. I was a Visiting Scholar and then a Senior Research Scholar at the East Asian Institute of Columbia University in New York from 1992 to 1995, and a Senior Research Fellow at Harvard Law School from 1995 to 2002. I have been Senior Research Fellow Emeritus at Harvard Law School since my retirement in 2002.
I am writing to you to nominate Chinese human rights and environmental activist Hu Jia for the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Hu has been an outstanding champion of both environmental protection and the promotion of human rights in China.
His commitment to the environment began in 1996 when, as part of the first group of volunteers, Hu Jia took part in planting trees in Engebei prairie in Inner Mongolia as a natural defense against desertification. He actively promoted environmental education by participating in the Green Camp for College Students and serving as its coordinator. He created a website about Tibetan antelopes and frequently traveled to the Tibetan Plateau to protect the endangered antelopes from illegal hunting. Hu Jia was an early member of China's largest environmental NGO – Friends of Nature – and he has also served as the Beijing Representative of Hong Kong's Friends of the Earth. In short, Hu was a pioneer in the cause of environmental protection in China.
In regard to human rights, Hu has also been a dedicated activist. In 2001, when the spread of AIDS/HIV in China was regarded as a state secret, Mr. Hu – at great personal risk of being detained by police – visited AIDS-affected villages in Henan province numerous times to investigate the facts and to help desperate AIDS victims. He courageously made public the results of his investigation and criticized the government for mismanaging blood collections and transfusions. He also called for protecting the rights and interests of AIDS victims.
In addition, Hu helped to establish two NGOs, the Beijing Aizhixing Institute of Health Education and Aiyuan (Loving Source), which organized other volunteers to help AIDS victims.
Over the years, Mr. Hu Jia has consistently focused his attention on disadvantaged and marginalized members of society who have been treated unjustly, such as petitioners who have no recourse in their local court systems, or people who have been jailed or tortured for expressing dissenting political opinions. As an example of his dedication to helping others, Hu – despite being ill himself and under constant police surveillance – would still manage to send warm clothing during the winter to petitioners who had come from the provinces and could not afford shelter in Beijing.
In summary, Hu Jia has demonstrated a spirit of complete selflessness in his commitment to help those in need. He has sacrificed his own interests and consistently given of himself to others in his tireless fight for fairness in the legal system, and for social justice. Furthermore, in the long and arduous course of fighting for human rights, Hu has paid a tremendous personal price, including being kidnapped, placed under house arrest, and imprisoned. Today, Mr. Hu Jia, severely ill, is in prison because of his beliefs and his courage.
I therefore wholeheartedly recommend Mr. Hu for the Nobel Peace Prize for his extraordinary contributions in human rights and environmental protection. It is indeed an honor for me to be able to make this recommendation.
The Nobel Peace Prize has a great tradition of encouraging and promoting the cause of human rights in the world. I believe that granting such a prize to Mr. Hu Jia would not only be in accordance with the founding principles of the Nobel Peace Prize, but would also demonstrate abiding support for the Chinese people’s struggle for human rights. Awarding Hu the prize will send a strong message to the Chinese people, especially those who are marginalized and disadvantaged, affirming the fact that human rights and peace are universal values. I believe that if you consider my recommendation, the Chinese people would be truly grateful.
Senior Research Fellow
Law School, Harvard University