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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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50 Leading Foreign Scholars Protest China’s Harassment of Human Rights

Posted by Author on October 3, 2006

Washington Post, October 3, 2006-

BEIJING — More than 50 leading scholars and rights campaigners from the United States, Europe, and Australia have issued a rare public protest of Chinese policies, sending an open letter to President Hu Jintao asking him to stop the harassment of human rights activists.

The Sept. 29 open letter posted on the Web site of the New York-based Human Rights Watch organization chiefly bore the signatures of some 40 well-known China scholars, including the Council on Foreign Relations’ Jerome Cohen, Harvard’s Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Yahuda of the London School of Economics.

“We note with concern the sharp increase in official retaliation against such advocates and their families through persistent harassment, banishment, detention, arrest and imprisonment,” the letter said. “We … write to urge your commitment to ensuring the civil rights of advocates for social justice.”

A call to the offices of the State Council _ China’s Cabinet _ went unanswered on the third day of a weeklong official holiday marking the annual National Day festivities.

The Foreign Ministry said it was studying the contents of the letter.

Foreign China scholars have rarely spoken out about human rights abuses in China, partly out of concern for their access to the country.

In their appeal, the scholars said Chinese actions toward human rights activists called into question “China’s oft-stated commitment to a rule of law.”

They said cases involving activists Gao Zhisheng, Chen Guangcheng, Zhao Yan and Hu Jia were particularly troubling because China appeared to be using “state secrets laws to prevent defendants in politically sensitive cases from exercising their rights to fair and impartial hearings.” ( more from Washington Post’s report )

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