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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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China Lawyer Detained For Teaching College Students About Online Censorship

Posted by Author on November 30, 2009

Radio Free asia, 2009-11-30 –

HONG KONG—A civil rights lawyer says he was detained by police in southern China for teaching a class to college students about online censorship and the use of a popular microblogging service.

Tang Jingling, a lawyer based in Guangdong’s provincial capital Guangzhou, said he was invited by a teacher surnamed Xu to the Guangzhou College of Vocational Technology on Nov. 27 to lecture students there on the Internet and its applications.

Instead, he said, he was interrupted by a member of the campus security force who was auditing the class, and was told to show his identification before being led away by police.

“When a teacher delivers a lecture, he should have all the rights over the content. But when I was in the classroom, a staff member from the school’s security division was sitting there, intimidating teachers,” Tang said.

“He even called the police to threaten the teachers and students. This was a joke and the biggest derision to academic freedom,” he said.

At the police station, Tang was questioned and barred from making phone calls.

Police threatened to keep him in custody for 24 hours.

News of Tang’s detention spread quickly on Twitter, enabling some netizens to immediately rush to the scene and call for his release.

Police allowed Tang Jingling to leave early Saturday, after three to four hours of questioning.

Twitter targeted

Tang admonished the authorities for shutting down his lecture, which included a talk on the use of the Twitter microblogging service.

“Twitter is just a tool to acquire knowledge and information, which can increase the skills of the students and ready them for tomorrow’s society. The way I was treated is really ridiculous,” he added.

Twitter has been censored several times by Chinese authorities following deadly ethnic riots in the northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region last July.

But China’s netizens say it is impossible for authorities to completely control Twitter due to the service’s inherently open characteristics and joke that “the day Twitter is shut down, pigs will climb trees.”

In fact, signs seem to indicate that an increasing number of China’s netizens are joining Twitter and using the service to pass on news.

Feng Zhenghu, a cyber-dissident who has been stranded in Tokyo’s Narita airport seeking the right to return to China, said that since registering as a user on the site on Nov. 13, he has received nearly 500 messages.

“In my inbox there are several hundred tweets, mostly from Chinese people expressing their concern and support,” Feng said.

Guangzhou-based cyber-activist Bei Feng said that Twitter is considered “a tool of subversion” by some Chinese security personnel.

“As far as I know, leading Chinese Web sites and forums were all cautioned not to discuss Twitter, which may now be monitored by special task forces,” Bei said.

“The Chinese authorities are always on high alert against Twitter, wanting to cut it off entirely,” he said…….(more detals from Radio Free Asia)

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