Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

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  • Books to Read

    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
  • Did you know

    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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Archive for the ‘Press freedom’ Category

NP editorial: Memo to Google — get out of China

Posted by Author on March 16, 2010

NP Editor, The National Post, Canada, Mar. 16, 2010-

As of press time, we were still waiting for final resolution of the escalating, months-old confrontation between Google and the government of China. Our hope is that the world-leading web-search company plays hardball with Beijing — even if that means exiting China entirely.

Countless companies run into headaches in China, a country whose booming free-market economy often bumps up against the pronouncements of its authoritarian government. But the friction has been especially notable in the case of Google, which controls almost one-third of China’s web search market. The company is a world-leading icon of the free flow of information, and it has been jarring to see it submit itself to the Chinese government’s censorship demands. Search for “Chinese human rights abuses” or “Dalai Lama” off of, and you will get a long list of unfiltered search results. Perform the same search on — or any of the portals featuring a Chinese Google search box — and you will get a much shorter list.

The moral case for Google saying goodbye to China is obvious: The company’s informal motto is, after all, “Don’t be evil.” But there is a strong business case for fleeing the Communist nation, as well. In recent months, Google has learned of a campaign to hack the Google Mail (i.e. Gmail) accounts of human rights activists. At the same time, the U.S. government and various Western high-tech corporations are fighting off a massive, well-organized campaign of electronic attacks and espionage, much of it based on Chinese servers. In both instances, the driving force is believed to be the Chinese government, or elements connected to it.

Google’s share of the Chinese market — the world’s biggest — is obviously a major asset. But more important is Google’s good name in the rest of the world. Like everyone else, we love Google’s search service, Gmail and its growing cloud-computing services. But there are other competing providers in all these areas — so why would we trust our data with a company seen to be bending over backward for a foreign government that combines Communist anti-Western phobias with the sleazy ethos of a backroom phishing operation?

Google itself is no doubt trustworthy. But companies, like people, are known by the company they keep.

The National Post

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Commentary, Company, Economy, Freedom of Information, Google, Human Rights, Internet, News, Opinion, Politics, Press freedom, Speech, Technology, website, World | Comments Off on NP editorial: Memo to Google — get out of China

China Orders Marxist Theory Training for Journalist

Posted by Author on March 12, 2010

NTDTV, Mar. 12, 2010-
The Chinese regime will introduce a new certification system for journalists requiring them to train in Marxist and communist theories, according to the South China Morning Post.

Deputy Director of the General Administration of Press and Publication, Li Dongdong, told state-run Xinhua news that aspiring journalists must learn “Communist Party discipline on news and propaganda.”

The role of the media in China has become a hot topic in recent days after the Governor of Hubei Province, Li Hongzhong angrily questioned a female reporter saying, “What kind of Communist Party mouthpiece are you?”

The state-run People’s Daily journalist had asked him about the case of a hotel worker who killed a communist official who tried to rape her.

Commentators say the Governor’s reaction reflects the expectation of communist officials that the media should only serve the purpose of the Chinese Communist Party.

Posted in China, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Journalist, Media, News, People, Politics, Press freedom, Social, Speech, World | Comments Off on China Orders Marxist Theory Training for Journalist

China Asks Journalists Trained by Marxist and Communist Discipline on “news and propaganda”

Posted by Author on March 12, 2010

CLIFFORD COONAN in Beijing, The Irishtimes, Mar. 12, 2010-

CHINESE JOURNALISTS need better coaching in Marxist theory and communist notions of what qualifies as news, the government has decided, because of “problems” with the current batch of reporters.

Li Dongdong, the powerful deputy director of the general administration of press and publication, which regulates publishing and print media in China, said a lack of proper training was giving some reporters a bad name.

“Comrades who are going to be working on journalism’s front lines must learn theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics and be taught Marx’s view on news, plus media ethics and Communist Party discipline on news and propaganda,” she was quoted as saying in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper.

Although reform has led to greater media freedom and independence, the freedom of the Fourth Estate to report what it wants is not a given in China. Reporters work within very tight constraints. While western democracies believe journalism should have a monitoring role to ensure there is no abuse of power, the communist theory is that the media should serve its leadership and not undermine its rule in any way, shape or form.

Ms Li has actively monitored reporters in China. Last year, she said news censors would set up a blacklist of Chinese journalists found breaking reporting rules……. (The Irishtimes)

Posted in China, Communist Party, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Media, News, People, Politics, Press freedom, Propaganda, Speech, World | Comments Off on China Asks Journalists Trained by Marxist and Communist Discipline on “news and propaganda”

China New Rules Tighten Internet Restrictions

Posted by Author on February 23, 2010

VOA News, Feb. 23, 2010-

China has tightened its controls on Internet use, requiring anyone who wants to set up a Web site to meet directly with government regulators.

The new rules, published by the Technology Ministry this week, also require Web site owners to submit their identity cards and personal photos.

A ministry statement says the measures will help the country deal with online pornography.  But human rights defenders say the regulations are just a new form of government censorship.

China has about 380 million Internet users, the world’s biggest online population.  The government carefully censors the Web to filter out sexually explicit or violent content, as well as information it considers to be a challenge to the ruling Communist Party.

The controls announced this week lift a freeze that the Technology Ministry imposed in December on new Web site registrations.

Chinese authorities are holding talks with Internet giant Google about whether the U.S.-based company can continue operating in that country without respecting the government’s censorship rules.

Google threatened to withdraw from China last month after discovering what it said were China-based cyber attacks on the company’s e-mail accounts.

The VOA News

Posted in China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, News, Politics, Press freedom, Social, Speech, World | Comments Off on China New Rules Tighten Internet Restrictions

Berlin Twitter Wall website blocked by China just days after its launch

Posted by Author on November 4, 2009

Reporters Without Borders, 3 November 2009 –

Reporters Without Borders deplores the fact that the Chinese authorities blocked the Berlin Twitter Wall website ( just days after its launch on 20 October and urges the government to allow its citizens to access this special Twitter site, which is dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The site allows people to express their comments about the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 and their related hopes and wishes. The initiative has had a great response, including in China, where nearly 2,000 Internet users had left a message on the virtual wall – most of them demanding an end to censorship in China – before access was blocked.

“Chinese Internet users must not be prevented from accessing the Berlin Twitter Wall,” said Reporters Without Borders, which supports this interactive campaign. “Initiatives like these are important platforms for the promotion of freedom of speech as well as for critical voices and protest.”

The press freedom organisation added: “Just a few weeks ago, at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Chinese representatives argued in favour of the promotion of cultural exchange. Yet many foreign news outlets and social-networking sites remain inaccessible to Chinese users.”

The Berlin Twitter Wall website was launched by Kulturprojekte Berlin as part of the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall. By using the hashtag #fotw (fall of the wall), Twitter account holders can post comments wall that appear automatically on the site.

Reporters Without Borders

Posted in censorship, China, Europe, Freedom of Information, Germany, Human Rights, Internet, News, Politics, Press freedom, Special day, Technology, website, World | 2 Comments »

China’s Export of Censorship (2)

Posted by Author on October 12, 2009

by Christopher Walker and Sarah Cook, Far Eastern Economic Review, October 12, 2009-

<< Previous

More insidious has been an indirect form of economic intimidation, whereby publications, event organizers or governments engage in self-censorship on topics deemed sensitive to the mainland, a dynamic some have dubbed “pre-emptive kowtowing.” Given their small size, proximity and relationship to the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan are particularly vulnerable to this phenomenon.

This June, the Hong Kong edition of Esquire magazine, published by South China Media, pulled a feature story by journalist Daisy Chu on the Tiananmen Square massacre slated to run on the 20th anniversary. In 2008, a prominent legal journal in Hong Kong made a last-minute decision not to publish an article on Tibetan self-determination. A blackout on independent coverage of the Falun Gong is believed to be practiced among certain Hong Kong and Taiwanese outlets whose owners have close ties to Beijing or significant business interests on the mainland.

As China’s economic clout and role on the global stage grows, it will inevitably exert greater influence beyond its borders. However, the issue is not whether China—which features one the world’s least hospitable environments for free expression—will project influence but what shape this growing power will take. The CCP plans, for instance, to spend billions of dollars on expanding its overseas media operations in a potentially massive show of “soft power.” But whether this enormous investment will simply project the deeply illiberal values that characterize China’s domestic media scene to a wider playing field is a question advocates of free expression should seriously ponder.

This critical question, so far, does not provide an encouraging answer.

China’s attempts to insinuate itself into Taiwan’s media sector, and Beijing’s ongoing efforts to limit the vitality of Hong Kong’s media, are among the examples of this phenomenon in Asia. The CCP has recently demonstrated its willingness to suppress open expression in Germany and Australia. The United States is not immune to this pressure. The Dalai Lama will be waiting a bit longer for his meeting with President Obama.

The Chinese government’s position at the vanguard of efforts to monitor and filter Internet content, using its wealth and technical acumen to devise methods to limit the free and independent flow of information online, also has serious transnational implications for free expression. China effectively serves as an incubator for new media suppression; authoritarian governments around the world carefully watch China’s censorship techniques and learn from its innovations.

The community of democratic states must acknowledge the Chinese government’s growing media ambitions and efforts to censor beyond its borders. Acquiescence in this challenge will only embolden the Chinese authorities.

Christopher Walker is director of studies and Sarah Cook is an Asia researcher at Freedom House.

<< Previous

Original report

Posted in Asia, censorship, China, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, Hong kong, Human Rights, Media, News, Politics, Press freedom, Speech, Taiwan, Trade, World | Tagged: , | Comments Off on China’s Export of Censorship (2)

China’s Export of Censorship (1)

Posted by Author on October 12, 2009

by Christopher Walker and Sarah Cook, Far Eastern Economic Review, October 12, 2009-

The Chinese government’s effort to prevent dissident authors from taking part in the prestigious Frankfurt Book Fair, an international showcase for freedom of expression, has offered Germany a close-up view of China’s intolerance of dissent.

In September, two Chinese writers, journalist Dai Qing and poet Bei Ling, had their invitations to the fair revoked by German event organizers after China’s organizing committee complained. The Chinese delegation threatened a boycott over invitations to the writers for a September symposium promoting the Frankfurt Book Fair, which begins on October 14. China is the “guest of honor” at this year’s fair. In the face of this pressure, the event’s organizers withdrew the invitations. The writers’ participation was ultimately enabled when the German PEN club of independent writers invited the two Chinese dissidents.

While Beijing’s coercive behavior caught many Germans off guard, it should not have come as a surprise; the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) censorship ambitions are neither new, nor limited to Germany. In fact, this action is just the latest example of an ongoing pattern of interference, cooptation and intimidation beyond China’s borders used to muzzle voices critical of the Chinese government.

Two days after the opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair, a film festival in Taiwan’s second largest city, Kaohsiung, will begin. It, too, has come under pressure to censor. In this instance the issue is a planned screening of “The 10 Conditions of Love,” a documentary about exiled Uighur rights activist Rebiya Kadeer. Chinese authorities assert Kadeer has terrorist links, unsubstantiated claims not accepted by most Western countries or independent analysts. Despite pressure to shelve the film—linked to fears that the city’s growing industry servicing mainland tourists could be hurt—the Kaohsiung Film Archive and the organizing committee of the 2009 Kaohsiung Film Festival announced on September 27 that it would go ahead with the screening. A similar series of events unfolded at the Melbourne Film Festival this summer.

In September, Uighur activist Dolkun Isa, who holds German citizenship, was denied entry into South Korea, to take part in a conference on democracy. China is South Korea’s largest trading partner. Isa, who fled China in 1997 and obtained asylum in Germany, was held at the Seoul airport without explanation for two days after being denied entry to South Korea.

The Chinese authorities have developed an elaborate arsenal of censorship, including an extensive domestic apparatus of information control. Less appreciated and understood are the methods of interference and intimidation employed to muzzle critical voices abroad. Some of the modern authoritarian techniques the Chinese authorities use for this purpose beyond its borders are detailed in a study, “Undermining Democracy: 21st Century Authoritarians,” recently released by Freedom House, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Radio Free Asia.

Economic coercion is a principal line of attack in the transnational suppression of issues deemed sensitive by China’s rulers. The coercion is applied directly and indirectly.

Instances of direct economic coercion and censorship typically occur when an event has already been planned or already begun. Pressure is then applied by Chinese government representatives on the organizers or local authorities to suppress certain activities or appearances deemed undesirable by the CCP. In such instances, explicit or implicit threats of boycotts, trade sanctions, or withdrawal of Chinese government funding have been used to force the hand of those in charge. The CCP’s Frankfurt Book Fair gambit fits this model, given the financial implications of the Chinese government’s $15 million investment in the event. (next >>)

Posted in censorship, China, Europe, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, Germany, Human Rights, Media, News, Politics, Press freedom, Speech, Trade, World | Tagged: , | Comments Off on China’s Export of Censorship (1)

Media Watchdog Fears China’s Control on Swine Flu Reporting

Posted by Author on May 7, 2009

By Lin Yi, Epoch Times Staff,  May 6, 2009 –

The Chinese regime’s media control machine has imposed a restriction on reports about swine flu (H1N1) cases, drawing criticism from media watchdog, International Federation of Journalists (China and Hong Kong).

Ms. Serenade Woo, project coordinator of the federation, said the regime is requesting all media follow its official reports—using the excuse of avoiding a mass panic. Woo said it is a repeat of the SARS coverup in 2003.

“The SARS outbreak in 2003 was a painful lesson, because the government delayed releasing the news by suppressing the information. [As a result,] more people were infected and the delay of the information caused many deaths and unnecessary panic,” Woo said.

The public will miss out on timely alerts if information is blocked, said Woo, questioning the regime’s excuse of avoiding a public panic.

“The question is, when you release the information, is the information released with all possible means, in an honest way? If the situation is not clear, let people understand, because the public is not stupid.”

Recently, media in Guangzhou were warned by officials for reporting a suspected swine flu case.

Woo criticized the regime’s use of media as a propaganda tool and said she feared some Hong Kong media were now being influenced by the Chinese Communist Party.

The Epochtimes

Posted in Asia, censorship, China, disaster, Hong kong, Human Rights, Journalist, Media, News, People, Plague, Politics, Press freedom, World | Comments Off on Media Watchdog Fears China’s Control on Swine Flu Reporting

Freedom of expression “systematically violated” in Tibet

Posted by Author on March 11, 2009

Reporters Without Borders, 9 March 2009 –

Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the systematic violation of press freedom and free expression in Tibet. Foreign journalists are finding it increasingly difficult to visit the Himalayan province and free speech is being suppressed even more ruthlessly there than in the rest of China. In the past few days, the editor of a Tibetan website has been arrested, a Tibetan culture website has been closed and SMS services have been suspended in parts of Sichuan province.

“We urge the Chinese authorities to allow foreign journalists to visit Tibet and the Tibetan regions freely,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We also call on them to grant the Tibet-based media more editorial freedom and to stop jamming international radio stations broadcasting in the Tibetan language.”

The press freedom organisation added: “The crackdown launched after the events of March 2008 has never stopped. The authorities have gone to great lengths to impose the official version of events, denying the existence of Tibetan victims. The statements full of hatred for Tibetans made by certain Chinese officials are unacceptable. The government keeps reiterating the need to maintain stability, but this translates into a relentless persecution of dissidents in Tibet.”

The local authorities have meanwhile reinforced their media propaganda in the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising on 10 March. Tibet Daily said in a 16 February editorial that China was engaged in a “life-or-death class struggle” with the “Dalai Lama clique and hostile western forces.”

In recent days, the Chinese authorities in the Tibetan regions and Beijing have systematically denied reports about incidents involving Tibetans. An official in the district of Litang, in Sichuan province, told Agence France-Presse on 18 February, for example, that there had been no demonstration in the district although several sources said at least 20 Tibetans were arrested after a peaceful demonstration there.

The foreign press has been unable to visit Tibet freely for decades and the controls were tightened after the events of March 2008. On the eve of the Tibetan new year and the 50th anniversary of the uprising, foreigners have been forbidden all access to Tibet until 1 April at least, making the presence of independent observers impossible. Foreign tourists in Lhasa have been asked to leave the Himalayan province as quickly as possible.

The Chinese have organised a few, very occasional press trips to Tibet. The last was in mid-February. But as journalists with the French TV production company Hikari said, “the criteria for choosing the media are not known and the media chosen cannot move about freely.” After visiting monasteries that have been emptied of their monks, Arnaud de La Grange of the French daily Le Figaro asked: “Why are journalists not allowed free access to Tibet, as they are to the rest of China?”

Journalists who try to do reporting in Tibetan regions without official guides often find themselves being obstructed and even roughed up in violation of the rules for foreign reporters that were renewed in October 2008. Two Hikari journalists were prevented from working and then detained in early February in Xiahe, the town in Gansu province where Labrang monastery is located. “Police took us to a hotel where we waited two hours before being driven several hundred kilometres to Lanzhou airport in a police car with the revolving roof light flashing.”

Before being expelled, the journalists saw that the authorities had set up road blocks and taken other security measures to prevent foreigners entering the area. New York Times reporter Edward Wong was held for about 20 hours by the police while investigating the military presence in Gansu province. Foreigners are not supposed to need permission to enter this region but the police refused to give any explanation, Wong said in his article. The Associated Press has meanwhile said its reporters were detained and questioned twice in the past few weeks in Tibetan regions.

When journalists arrive in Tibet, often on tourist visas, they find that Tibetans are scared to talk to them. “There is a general feeling of mistrust and paranoia as a result of the massive presence of security forces and the security cameras installed in many places in the city,” Reporters Without Borders was told by a European journalist who visited Lhasa in 2008. “The Tibetans know they are taking a big risk if they talk to a foreigner (…) Many Lhasa residents are convinced there are microphones and cameras at street corners, in shops and in taxis.”

Several sources said the Internet has been particularly slow in the Tibetan regions in the run-up to the 10 March anniversary. But calls for a boycott of the Tibetan new year, Losar, circulated widely on Tibetan blogs and chat forums. The Beijing media broadcast the festivities and hailed the calm and joy in Tibet after “50 years of democratic reforms.”…… (more details from Reporters Without Borders)

Posted in censorship, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Lasa, News, People, Politics, Press freedom, Social, SW China, Tibet, World, Xizang | Comments Off on Freedom of expression “systematically violated” in Tibet

China: Human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng’s account of 50 days of torture by Police (2)

Posted by Author on February 11, 2009

By Gao Zhisheng, via The Epochtimes, Feb.10, 2009- (Cont’d)

(Note: this is a recent disclosed article written by Mr. Gao Zhisheng, noted Chinese human rights lawyer, in 2007, regarding his more than 50 days  kidnapping and torturing by Chinese police. – Chinaview)

<< previous

After being tortured for days, I often lost consciousness and was unable to determine the passage of time. I don’t know how long had passed. A group of them were preparing to torture me again.

Another guy came in, though, and rebuked them. I could hear it was a deputy director from the Beijing PSB. I had seen him many times before. I thought him to be a good person.

I could not see him though, because my eyes were still swollen. My whole body was beaten and unrecognizable. He sounded angry because of my condition. He found a doctor to attend to me. He said he was appalled and surprised. He said, “This torture doesn’t represent the Communist Party!”

I asked him, “Who directed this?”

He didn’t reply. I asked to be sent back home or even just back to prison. He didn’t reply. He brought my torturers back into the room and rebuked them. He ordered them to buy clothes for me and give me a blanket and food. He told me he would try his best to either get me back to prison or back home.

As soon as the deputy left, Wang began cursing me. “Gao, you even dream to go to prison? No, that is too easy. You won’t have any chance to do that as long as the CCP is still in power. Don’t even think about that.”

That same night, I was transported to another location, but I didn’t know where, since I had a black hood over my head again. I was continuously tortured there again for another 10 days.

Then one day, they put the hood on me again, and I was put into a vehicle. My head was forced in between my legs, and I had to remain that way for more than an hour. The suffering was more than I could stand, and I wanted to die.

After another hour, at a new location, the hood was removed. Four of the previous five torturers were not there. But, I saw the same group of secret police who used to follow me.

From then on, the physical torture stopped, but emotional torture continued. I was told the 17th Communist Party Congress was starting and that I had to wait for the higher authorities’ opinions about my case.

During that time, some officials came to visit my cell. Their attitude was softer, and I was also allowed to wash my face and brush my teeth.

Some officials proposed to me to use my writing skills to curse Falun Gong instead, and that I could charge whatever I wanted for doing that. I said it is not a technical problem but an ethical problem.

“So, if that is too hard, then write articles praising the government, and again charge whatever you want,” they suggested.

Finally, they proposed, “If you write what we direct and that you were treated well after prison and that you were fooled by Falun Gong and Hu Jia, things will go well. Otherwise, how can you find an end to your suffering? Think of your wife and children.”

In exchange, I did write an article that said the government treated my family well. In that article, I explained that I wrote the open letter to the U.S. Congress because I had been fooled by Falun Gong and Hu Jia.

Before I was released to go home, though, I was brought to Xian city. I was brought to call Geng He (my wife). On the date of the mid-autumn festival, the authorities asked me to call my wife and comfort her since she was holding a protest and trying to commit suicide over the government’s treatment of our family.

The content of the call was all designed by the authorities. (Later I learned that my wife’s response was also choreographed.) I could still not open one of my eyes at that time and since the call was being taped, I was told to explain that it was from a self-inflicted wound.

In the middle of November 2007, after I got home, I learned that my house had been thoroughly searched again, without a single document or search warrant having been produced. During those more than 50 days of torture, I had many strange feelings. For example, sometimes I could really hear “death” and sometimes I could really hear “life.”

On the twelfth or thirteenth day of my kidnapping, when I could again partially open my eyes, I saw my body was in a horrifying condition. Not a single square centimeter of my skin was normal. It was bruised and damaged over every part.

Every day while I was being held, the experience of “eating” was unusual. Whenever I was at the point of starving, they would bring up “mantle” [steamed bread] and offer it to me. If I would sing one of the three famous revolutionary Communist Party songs, I could have some bread.

My deepest desire was that I wanted to live until that was no longer possible. My death would be torturous for my wife and children, but at the same time I didn’t want to dirty my soul. But in that environment, human dignity has no strength. If you don’t sing these songs, you will continue to be starved, and they will continue to torture you, so I sang.

When they used the same tactic, though, pressuring me to write articles attacking Falun Gong, I didn’t do it. But I did compromise by writing my statement saying the government didn’t kidnap and torture me and that they treated my family well. I did sign that document.

During these more than 50 days, more horrible evils were committed than I have told here. Those evils are not even worthy of any historical records by any human governments. But those records will further enable us to see clearly how much further the leaders of the CCP are willing go in the CCP’s evil crimes against humanity in order to protect its illegal monopoly on power! Those evils are so dirty and disgusting that I don’t want to mention them at this time and perhaps will never mention them in the future.

Every time when I was tortured, I was always repeatedly threatened that, if I spelled out later what had happened to me, I would be tortured again, but I was told, “This time it will happen in front of your wife and children.”

The tall, strong man who pulled my hair repeated this over and over during the days I was tortured. “Your death is sure if you share this with the outside world,” he said. This was repeated many times. These brutal, violent acts are not right. Those that did it, themselves, knew this clearly in their hearts.

Finally, I want to say a few words that won’t be liked by some folks. I want to remind those so-called global “good friends,” “good partners,” so-called by the CCP, that the increasing degree of brutality and coldness against the Chinese people by the CCP is the direct result of appeasement by both you and us (our own Chinese people).

Written on November 28, 2007, at my besieged home in Beijing. Authorized to be released to international community on February 9, 2009


This letter was first published by the China Aid Association. The Epoch Times gratefully acknowledges permission to use China Aid’s translation, which The Epoch Times has edited. Gao Zhisheng provided this letter with the title: “Dark Night, Dark Hood and Kidnapping by Dark Mafia—My account of more than 50 days of torture in 2007.”

The Epochtimes

Posted in Beijing, China, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, Press freedom, Torture, World | Comments Off on China: Human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng’s account of 50 days of torture by Police (2)

China: Return to outdated rules for Hong Kong and Macau journalists

Posted by Author on February 11, 2009

Reporters Without Borders, 6 February 2009 –

Reporters Without Borders
deplores the fact that the more relaxed regulations for the foreign press that were introduced for the Olympic Games will no longer apply to Hong Kong and Macau journalists visiting the mainland although they have been maintained for foreign journalists. The Chinese authorities have told the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) that reporters from Hong Kong and Macau must obtain a press card from an official body in order to work on the mainland and must request permission from the authorities before every trip into the interior, much as they did before the more new regulations took effect.

“Why are journalists from Hong Kong and Macau being treated less well than foreign journalists?” Reporters Without Borders asked. “It is inexplicable. We urge the Chinese authorities not to return to the past in this way, reversing one of the few positive effects of the Olympic Games.”

Reporters Without Borders has just published an evaluation of the human rights situation in China six months after inauguration of the Olympic Games on 8 August.

It was the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of China’s State Council that today announced that journalists from the two special administrative regions would no longer enjoy the freedoms that were introduced for the Olympic Games period. They will now have to obtain a press card from the All-China Journalists Association (the official union) before working on the mainland, and they will have to show the card before interviewing Chinese citizens. The will also have to notify the authorities before travelling.

According to the government news agency Xinhua, the new regulations state that: “Journalists from Hong Kong and Macau must abide by national laws and journalism ethics and should carry out coverage objectively and fairly.”

Mak Yin-ting, a journalist and former general secretary of the HKJA, said: “In principle, it is unfair. In practice, it will depend on the good will of the authorities. In either case, it is not normal that this should be worse than the Olympic regulations”. Tam Chi-keung, the HKJA’s current chairperson, told Reuters: “This is returning to the old ways … this cannot fulfil the actual needs of Hong Kong and Macao journalists.”

A Hong Kong journalist who often visits the mainland told Reporters Without Borders: “The impact on our work depends on the way the local authorities apply it. I fear that, as regards sensitive stories, this will prevent us from doing our reporting properly. There could be a restrictive attitude during this coming year, which is a sensitive one.” The Foreign Correspondents Club of China (FCCC) told Reporters Without Borders that, if confirmed, this decision would be very disturbing and contrary to the open attitude displayed by the Chinese authorities during and after the Olympic Games.

Reporters Without Borders

Posted in Beijing Olympics, China, Freedom of Speech, Hong kong, Human Rights, Journalist, Macao, Media, News, People, Politics, Press freedom, Sports, World | Comments Off on China: Return to outdated rules for Hong Kong and Macau journalists

China’s repression continues after Beijing Olympics, media and dissidents fight back (2)

Posted by Author on February 7, 2009

Reporters Without Borders, 5 February 2009 – (cont’d)

Foreign press reassured

Several incidents involving foreign journalists have been reported since the Olympic Games. The most serious was undoubtedly an attack on a crew from the Belgian TV station VRT while they were doing a report on the AIDS epidemic in Henan province. The journalists were beaten and robbed by thugs who had clearly been put up to it by the local authorities.

Severe punishments have been imposed on some of the dissidents who spoke to foreign reporters about the Olympic Games. Wang Guilan was sentenced in August by a court in Hubei province to 15 months of reeducation through work. The Foreign Correspondents Club of China (FCCC) recorded 178 cases of foreign journalists being obstructed in the course of their work in 2008, 63 of them during the Olympic Games period.

“Foreign journalists are still relatively free to work thanks to the renewal of the more relaxed regulations, but they still encounter obstacles when they try to cover dissident activities, the situation of companies affected by the economical crisis and the situation in Tibet,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Freedom of movement and freedom to interview should not be limited to anodyne subjects.”

Very few journalists obtain permission to visit Tibet. The French daily Le Monde’s correspondent requested accreditation for Tibet, but was refused. The few foreign journalists who do get into Tibet are closely watched and around 10 Tibetans have received prison sentences since the end of the games for sending information abroad.

Reporters Without Borders takes note of the decision, announced at the end of January, to transfer oversight of foreign news agencies to the State Council’s Information Office. The existing policy, supervised by the government news agency Xinhua (新华社), did not allow the Chinese media unrestricted access to foreign news agency reports. Reporters Without Borders urges the authorities to allow all international news agencies, not just those selling financial news, to offer content to the Chinese media.

Chinese media push the limits

The Propaganda Department shows no sign of relaxing its control of the Chinese media, but several of them have nonetheless been pushing the limits of censorship and self-censorship. The Beijing News daily (新京报), for example, ran a report about the way some of the people organising petitions have been forcibly confined in psychiatric institutions. Similarly, the media have given extensive coverage to the contaminated milk powder story after been prevented from doing so until the end of August because of the Olympic Games.

China Business Post (财经时报), a Beijing-based business weekly, ceased operating altogether after being suspended in September for three months over an article about questionable bad-debt accounting by a branch of the Agricultural Bank of China. “Even if the newspaper could have resumed publishing on 8 December, the pressure from the authorities was too strong,” a former employee told Reporters Without Borders.

It was the magazine Yanhuang Chunqiu (炎黄春秋) that was threatened by the Propaganda Department in November but, after a hue and cry by the journalists, the authorities did not go ahead with a purge of the staff.

Facing social unrest linked to the economic slowdown, the government is not relinquishing its hold on the media. It announced on 13 January that it was going spend an additional 17 billion yuan (2 billion euros) on state media such as CCTV and the news agency Xinhua. Propaganda Department chief Liu Yunshan (刘云山) said: “It has become urgent for China to ensure that our communication capacity matches our international prestige.”

The government’s grip over the media has prompted reactions from intellectuals. A score of university professors and lawyers issued a call on 12 January to “Boycott CCTV, reject the brainwashing.” They are particularly incensed by the government’s control of the broadcast media and CCTV’s failure to cover the contaminated milk powder story properly……. (to be cont’d)

Repression continues six months after Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, but media and dissidents fight back, The Reporters Without Borders

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China’s repression continues after Beijing Olympics, media and dissidents fight back (1)

Posted by Author on February 7, 2009

Reporters Without Borders, 5 February 2009 –

Six months after the Beijing Olympics began on 8 August 2008, Reporters Without Borders urges the Chinese authorities to release all the free speech activists and other citizens still being held in connection with the games. Foreign journalists continue to enjoy the freer regulations introduced for the Olympics (even if they have not been applied in Tibet), but at least 17 Chinese journalists, bloggers and free speech activists have been arrested since the games ended.

“For hundreds of Chinese, the Olympic legacy is measured in years in prison, administrative sanctions or police surveillance,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This is degrading for the Olympic movement, but the authorities still have a chance to change the situation by freeing those who were arrested for expressing their views in connection with the games.”

The press freedom organisation added: “It is also deplorable that improved access to websites, one of the few benefits derived from the Olympic Games, has been rolled back. It is clear that the Olympic human rights legacy promised by the government and the International Olympic Committee is extremely meagre.”

French President Nicolas Sarkozy attended the opening ceremony of the games and submitted a list of political prisoners whose release he requested on the European Union’s behalf. None of them has been freed. Sarkozy’s list was headed by Hu Jia (胡佳), who has been held for more than a year and is in poor health. The authorities continue to refer to him as a “criminal,” although he was awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize. Huang Qi (黄琦), who was arrested in June 2008 for writing about the victims of the previous month’s earthquake in Sichuan, is still awaiting trial and his family still have not been allowed to see him.

Writer and lawyer Yang Maodong (杨茂东) continues to be mistreated in the southern province of Guangdong. Fellow lawyer Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚), who has had acute diarrhoea for months, was denied an early release on medical grounds by the authorities in Shandong last month.

Yang Chunlin (杨春林), one of the initiator of the “We want human rights not Olympic Games” campaign, is still detained in the north-eastern province of Heilongjiang, where he has to work 14 hours a day in a prison factory. Tibetan monk Tenzin Delek continues to be held in Sichuan province, serving a life sentence on a charge of “inciting separatism.”

The failure of the European Union’s attempts to get China to release prisoners of conscience should induce the EU to adopt a new strategy. Reporters Without Borders calls for repeated joint requests for their release, requests that are not just made in the course of the discreet meetings that are taking place as part of the EU-China dialogue on human rights…….  (to be cont’d)

Repression continues six months after Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, but media and dissidents fight back, The Reporters Without Borders

Posted in Activist, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, China, Dissident, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, Media, News, People, Politics, Press freedom, Social, Speech, Sports, World | Comments Off on China’s repression continues after Beijing Olympics, media and dissidents fight back (1)

MEPs call for uncensored Chinese TV to be put back on air

Posted by Author on January 30, 2009

Martin Banks, The Parliament,  Belgium, 29th Jan 2009 –

A cross-party group of MEPs have called for the uncensored Chinese language broadcaster NTDTV to be put back on air.

The demand follows a move by the Chinese authorities last June to shut down NTDTV’s broadcast via the Paris-based satellite carrier Eutelsat.

Critics of the Chinese regime say Beijing did so by applying “political pressure and business interest lures” to Eutelsat.

The MEPs’ demand comes a day before Chinese premier Wen Jiabao is due to visit Brussels for meetings with, among others, commission president José Manuel Barroso and EU foreign affairs supreme Javier Solana.

Several deputies held a news conference in parliament on Wednesday to call for the ‘ban’ on NTDTV to be lifted.

UK Tory Edward McMillan-Scott, a vice president of the assembly, said he wants the French government to press the Eutelsat to restore the station’s broadcasts to China.

He pointed out that recently some 476 MEPs signed a written declaration urging Eutelsat to resume the service.

“The other EU institutions, including the commission and council, should take note of the fact that so many MEPs signed what amounts to a resolution,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that Paris succumbed to pressure from the Chinese so the French government and its president Nicolas Sarkozy should also take note of the strength of feeling on this issue.

“The EU has a specific role to play here in putting pressure on the French to restore this vitally important service to the Chinese people.”

Italian ALDE deputy Marco Cappato, who also spoke at the news conference, said, “As the west celebrates the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, in 2009 China will observe the 50th anniversary of the Chinese communist government’s rule in Tibet, the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre and the 10th anniversary of the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice.

“This strong contrast highlights the need for information freedom in China.

“Without NTDTV’s pioneering work to bring uncensored information to China, the vast majority of the Chinese population will have no access to information commemorating these solemn occasions.

“Since it seized power, the Chinese regime has continuously suppressed media voices that do not toe its political line and last June the regime succeeded in shutting down NTDTV’s broadcast by applying political pressure and business interest lures to Eutelsat.

“With the passage of the written declaration on media freedom by a large majority of MEPs, parliament is signalling its will to defend media freedom in China.”

– The Parliament: MEPs call for Chinese TV station to be put back on air

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European Parliament Supports NTD’s Free flow of information to China

Posted by Author on January 16, 2009

NTDTV ,  15 Jan 2009 –

Some good news… By last night (January 14), more than half of the members of the EU parliament have signed a declaration supporting the restoration of NTD’s broadcast, via satellite, into mainland China.

In July of last year, NTD’s broadcast into China was cut off by French satellite provider Eutelsat.

At the parliamentary meeting in Strasbourg, France 441 members of the European Parliament signed the declaration.

[Charles Tannock, UK Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman]:
“I’m very happy, because this is a remarkable achievement. It is extremely difficult to get more than half the members of the Parliament to sign these declarations. There are only about two or three of these a year that pass through these mechanisms, so it’s a great achievement because it is a very worthwhile cause.”

This is the first time a declaration has been passed regarding a Chinese issue.

[Charles Tannock, UK Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman]:
“It is totally unacceptable in my view that the People’s Republic of China uses its huge commercial muscle to threaten to withdraw other contracts to put pressure on western satellite providers, telling them to take NTD television channel off air.”

This written declaration will be announced as a resolution on the 15th of January.

[Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice-President, European Parliament]:
“The status is the highest status on any resolution in the European Parliament but of course it asks for certain actions. It asks the commission to take action. It asks the French authorities to take action. It points the way forward for the restoration of the services of NTDTV, broadcast via satellite.”

Outside parliament, many NTD supporters were showing their support for a restoration of NTD’s broadcast into China.

Shujia Liu took part in NTD’s International Chinese Vocal Competition, held in New York City. She tried to encourage some of her friends to participate, but the Chinese Communist Party would not allow them out of China. She said her friends were harassed and had their homes searched.

[Shujia Liu, Supporter]:
“I think this event is very important. Many audience members from mainland China can not receive news from NTDTV. Because NTDTV reports the truth, it is the most righteous media and is very popular. It speaks out for those who are weak and supports the rights of citizens. In mainland China we can just hear lies. The CCP only reports its glories. It never reports on how it persecutes people.”

Many supporters of NTD feel the EU’s declaration is a strong message to Eutelsat and a victory for those who have been raising awareness about China’s human rights situation.


Posted in China, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Media, News, NTDTV, People, Press freedom, World | Comments Off on European Parliament Supports NTD’s Free flow of information to China

U.S. journalist arrested in Central China for reporting underground Protestant church event

Posted by Author on December 2, 2008

Reporters Without Borders, 2 December 2008-

Reporters Without Borders urges the Chinese government to rein in the authorities in the central province of Henan, where a reporter for a US national newspaper was arrested and a Belgian TV crew were arrested and beaten in separate incidents in the past five days.

“The regulations that grant foreign journalists freedom of movement and freedom to interview are supposed to apply throughout China,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The authorities in Henan clearly have no desire to respect the law. We call for an investigation into these two incidents and for compensation for the Belgian TV reporter whose equipment was damaged or stolen.”

The Foreign Correspondents Club of China (FCCC) is aware of 177 cases of foreign journalists being obstructed in the course of their work since the start of the year.

British journalist Peter Ford, the Beijing correspondent of the American Christian Science Monitor daily, and his assistant were covering a prayer meeting at the home of a member of an underground Protestant church in Nanyang, Henan, on 28 November when about 15 police officers accompanied by local representatives of the foreign ministry and Bureau of Religious Affairs burst in.

A dozen members of the church were held for a few hours. The pastor whom Ford had interviewed the day before was arrested and held for a day in a hotel. Ford and his assistant were arrested and questioned for three hours before being taken to an airport and got their flight back to Beijing.

The day before, Belgian reporter Tom Van de Weghe of Flemish public TV station VRT, his Australian cameraman and his Belgian assistant were in Henan province doing a report on AIDS in China when they were attacked and robbed by eight men recruited by the Henan provincial authorities, VRT said.

The eight men intercepted them while they were on their way to a village and demanded that they surrender the videotape of interviews they had already done. The crew handed over videocassettes after being hit. Their assailants also took money, microphones and batteries.

VRT has demanded an apology and compensation. The Belgian government has asked the Chinese authorities for an explanation.

– Reporters Without Borders: Do foreign media regulations apply in Henan province ?

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China: Repression continues in Tibet, foreign media still unable to investigate

Posted by Author on November 7, 2008

Reporters Without Borders, Nov.7, 2008-

Reporters Without Borders deplores the Chinese government’s lack of goodwill towards foreign journalists trying to visit Tibet and its repressions of Tibetans who dare to talk about what has happened to them. A Tibetan monk, for example, was arrested three days ago after speaking openly in a video and answering a foreign journalist’s questions about the torture he underwent in prison.

“The simple fact that the freedom of movement and freedom to interview granted to foreign journalists are not been applied in Tibet shows that a state of exception still exists in the province,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The foreign journalists who have managed to get into Tibet confirm that a heavy military and police presence has imposed a climate of fear for most Tibetans. The news blackout is designed to prevent journalists from carrying out an independent evaluation of the toll from last March’s unrest.”

The press freedom organisation added: “We above all urge the Chinese government to allow foreign journalists to travel freely to Tibet. The government must also, as a matter of urgency, release all Tibetans held for expressing their views or for providing information about the situation in the province.”

Jigme Guri, a Buddhist monk at Labrang monastery (in Gansu province) was arrested by about 50 police and soldiers on 4 November after recording a video in which he spoke openly about the torture to which he was submitted after being arrested in March. He also answered an Associated Press reporter’s questions in September, explaining how he was hung by his arms and beaten to make him confess to leading the March protests in Labrang. The authorities have not provided any information about him since his second arrest.

The Chinese authorities announced on 17 October that rules allowing foreign journalists freedom of movement and freedom to interview would remain in force. But these rules do not apply to the Tibetan region, which the press can only visit after obtaining the agreement of the local authorities. Very few of such permits are given to foreign reporters.

In August, Agence France-Presse reporters tried to visit the Tibetan region of Garze, in Sichuan province, where soldiers had opened fire on demonstrators a short while before. They managed to get as far as Kangding, but it proved impossible to continue to Garze. On the instructions of the authorities, all drivers were refusing to take foreigners there. The reporters saw a significant military presence in both the cities and the countryside, and strict police control around Buddhist temples.

There are many police controls around Tibet and provinces with a Tibetan population, as well as around the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, where a permit has to be obtained in order to travel to Shigatse or Gyantse.

No foreign journalist has been able to cover the trials of Tibetans accused of participating in the March riots. According to a recent statement by a Chinese official, at least 55 people have been given prison sentences.

Several foreign journalists have told Reporters Without Borders it has become much harder to work in Tibet since the riots. “Far fewer people dare to talk now,” said a European journalist who went to Tibet in August.” “And investigating what happened in March is an ordeal. You can read the fear on their faces.” Like the other journalists, she travelled to Tibet on tourist visa…… (more details)

– Reporters Without Borders

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China: Tibetan TV news presenter arrested in eastern Tibet

Posted by Author on September 18, 2008

Reporters Without Borders, Sep. 18, 2008-

Reporters Without Borders is deeply worried about Tibetan TV presenter Washu Rangjong’s arrest by Chinese military police officers at his home in Amdo Golok, in the east Tibetan district of Sertha, on 11 September. Washu is also a singer and the author of two books on Tibetan culture.

“The Chinese authorities must explain why this journalist and defender of Tibetan culture has been arrested,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The case highlights the climate of fear prevailing in the Tibetan regions, where many people have been arrested arbitrarily since the events in March.”

Washu has presented news in Tibetan for local television for the past four years at least. Born in 1983 and the father of four children, he taught Tibetan before becoming a journalist.

Tsultrim Woeser, a monk, told Reporters Without Borders that the Washu family has not been informed of the reason for his arrest.

Tibetan singer and TV presenter Jamyang Kyi was arrested at her office at state-owned Qinghai Television in Xining, in the western province of Qinghai, in April and was released a month later after paying bail.

Reporters Without Borders

Posted in China, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, News, People, Politics, Press freedom, Social, SW China, Tibet, World, Xizang | 1 Comment »

China’s internal police documents reveal strategy with foreign journalists: RSF

Posted by Author on August 22, 2008

Reporters Without Borders, 21 August 2008-

Although Chinese police have attacked or manhandled around 10 foreign journalists since the start of the Beijing games, they were told not to obstruct the international press in directives sent to police stations at the end of July, of which Reporters Without Borders has obtained a copy. These directives nonetheless clearly instruct them to investigate the Chinese who talk to the foreign media, and another directive on 7 August (also obtained by Reporters Without Borders) orders them to deal quickly with religious demonstrations.

“The rules for the foreign press adopted in January 2007 were simple and explicit – freedom of movement and freedom to interview,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The Chinese police documents obtained by Reporters Without Borders show that the police were indeed ordered to let foreign journalists work, but they were also ordered to investigate the Chinese who told them embarrassing things.”

The press freedom organisation added: “The recent arrests of Chinese who wanted to stage demonstrations or express themselves during the Olympic Games were examples of this desire on the part of the authorities to target their own citizens rather than the thousands of foreign journalists.”

Reporters Without Borders is releasing three Chinese police documents on official strategy towards the foreign media. While the aim of these documents is to ensure that the thousands of accredited foreign journalists in Beijing are free to conduct interviews, they also ask the police to prevent non-accredited journalists from working and above all to investigate the Chinese who talk to the press. This suggests there could be reprisals after the games, when all the journalists have gone.

Dated 25 July and entitled “Four directives for handling foreign journalists,” the first document asks the police not to block their camera lenses (1), not to damage their equipment (2), not to confiscate their memory cards (3) and not to investigate when they are involved in minor offences (4).

Reporters Without Borders knows of several cases in which these directives were clearly violated. Uniformed officers physically prevented Hong Kong journalists from filming a crowd getting out of hand during the sale of tickets for the games on 25 July. Reporter John Ray of Britain’s ITN was arrested by Beijing police officers while covering a demonstration by pro-Tibet activists on 13 August. He was forcibly restrained for 20 minutes although he identified himself as journalist, while his cameraman was prevented from filming the arrest of the protesters.

Police destroyed material and equipment of a photographer with the London-based Guardian newspaper. And in Xinjiang, Associated Press photographers were forced to delete the photos they had taken.

The second document is entitled “Eight directives for not intervening when a foreign journalist is interviewing a Chinese.” It tells police not to intervene if the journalist is accredited (1), if the journalist is not accredited but is not asking political questions (2), if the person agrees to be interviewed (3), if the journalist asks about a third country (4), at news conferences given by foreign organisations that have permission (5), if the journalist is asking about sensitive matters but the interviewee is not causing people to gather and disrupt public order (6), if the interviewee talks about subjects such as Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan and Falun Gong or criticises the Party or government but is not behaving outrageously (7), if a journalist photographs or films policemen without disrupting their work (8).

As regards point 7, the directive tells the police to “speak to the interviewee in accordance with Chinese legislation and to follow and monitor the journalist.” There have been more than ten cases of Chinese being arrested after trying to alert international public opinion to abuses they have suffered. Two Beijing women in their late 70s were sentenced to a year of reeducation through work on 17 August for asking permission to demonstrate during the games, while Zhang Wei, a former resident of Beijing’s Qianmen district, was arrested on 9 August after complaining to foreign journalists about the way she was rehoused.

Reporters Without Borders has seen that, during protests by Christian or pro-Tibet foreigners in Beijing, the authorities prefer to let police disguised as young patriots or members of civilian surveillance groups intervene rather than directly arrest the demonstrators.

At the same time, the public security department’s campaign to intimidate Beijing human rights activists before the Olympic Games enabled the authorities to sideline these spokesmen for social, religious and political demands. More than 40 of them were put under house arrest, forced to leave Beijing or forced to go into hiding for fear of reprisals.

The third document is an analysis by the Criminal Affairs Bureau of three incidents involving pro-Tibet activists, Christians and a delinquent. Directives tell the police that the priority is to carry out a thorough investigation and avoid bad publicity. The Criminal Affairs Bureau recommends arresting foreign demonstrators and deporting them as quickly as possible. The police are told to do everything possible to “depoliticise” their actions by stressing the public order consequences to the public.

Point 4 of the directives tells the Beijing police to deal with “religious cases as quickly as possible.” They are told to “keep the crowd at a distance, devise all sorts of ploys to defuse the situation and immediately inform the Religious Affairs Department.”

Read the directives on

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Eutelsat Should Restore the Independant Chinese TV Broadcasting to China Today: RSF

Posted by Author on August 19, 2008

Reporters Without Borders, Aug. 18, 2008-

Reporters Without Borders has written to Giuliano Berretta, the head of the French satellite company Eutelsat, urging him to resume transmission of the Chinese-language television station NTDTV on his W5 satellite and thereby respect the principles of equal access, pluralism and non-discrimination enshrined in article 3 of the convention that governs Eutelsat’s operations.

Eutelsat’s W5 satellite stopped carrying the Asia broadcasts of NTDTV and three Mandarin radio stations, including Sound of Hope, after reporting a technical incident on 16 June.

The Chinese government has often criticised NTDTV’s programmes about the human rights situation in China and there are grounds for suspecting that Eutelsat’s suspension of its broadcasts is not due solely to a technical problem.

In addition to the statements of a Eutelsat employee in China confirming that the Chinese government had been pressuring the company, Reporters Without Borders has obtained new information indicating that Eutelsat would be technically capable of restoring NTDTV’s broadcasts to Asia today, thereby ending a crisis that has damaged Eutelsat’s credibility.

“One of your clients, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which handles the broadcasts of Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, has just withdrawn from W5,” the letter says. “This therefore leaves sufficient capacity on one of the transponders, C2, for restoring NTDTV. In fact, in July, BBG was using your satellite to broadcast five TV stations and 12 radio stations to Asia.”

A BBG spokesperson has confirmed to Reporters Without Borders that none of their broadcasts have been carried by this Eutelsat satellite since 1 August. So how, when room has been freed up on one of W5’s transponders, can Eutelsat continue to insist that it is impossible to resume broadcasting of NTDTV?

Eutelsat claims that four of the satellite’s transponders, including C4 and C6, had to be turned off to allow the other 20 to keep going. But Reporters Without Borders has learned that the C6 transponder has been used again for transmission, although reports about the 16 June incident by Eutelsat-Thales Alenia Space (the satellite’s constructor) said this would not be possible.

NTDTV representatives always get the same answer from Eutelsat: “We cannot resume broadcasting for technical reasons. Contact our competitors.” A Eutelsat release on 11 July said that, because of the 16 June incident, it would not be possible to get the four transponders running again.

Why is Eutelsat refusing to broadcast NTDTV and three radio stations although some of the transponders that were turned off in June have again been used?

“With the Olympic Games taking place in China, it is vital that Chinese TV viewers should have the possibility of accessing independent news and information,” the letter adds. “We therefore urge you now to take the necessary measures so that NTDTV broadcasts are again transmitted by the W5 satellite. The many protests by the station’s viewers demonstrate its utility and importance”, concluded Reporters Without Borders in its letter addressed to Giuliano Berretta.

– Original: Reporters Without Borders

Posted in Beijing Olympics, censorship, China, Europe, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Incident, Media, News, NTDTV, Politics, Press freedom, Speech, Sports, TV / film, World | Comments Off on Eutelsat Should Restore the Independant Chinese TV Broadcasting to China Today: RSF

IOC Should Investigate the Daily Abuses of Media Freedom happening in China: HRW

Posted by Author on August 17, 2008

Human Rights Watch, August 15, 2008-

(New York, August 15, 2008) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) should turn words into action and immediately establish a reporting mechanism for violations of media freedoms in China, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch and other groups have documented many violations of China’s promise to allow press freedom in exchange for hosting the Olympic Games.

On August 14, 2008, the IOC spokesperson, Giselle Davies, ended months of IOC silence by saying that the committee “disapproved of any attempts to hinder a journalist who is going about doing his job seemingly within the rules and regulations.” Over the past year, the IOC has been provided extensive documentation of such abuses, including physical assaults of journalists, but has not publicly spoken about the issue or challenged the Chinese government.

“The IOC’s public expression of concern is welcome, but it won’t have any effect without real action,” said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “The International Olympic Committee’s failure to address this problem highlights the urgent need for mechanisms to prevent further abuses.”

Human Rights Watch has documented almost daily violations of China’s commitment to the IOC to allow the foreign media “complete freedom to report” during the Beijing Games, as stipulated by the Chinese government’s temporary regulations, which allow foreign journalists to speak to “any consenting interviewee” between January 1, 2007 and October 17, 2008 (click here for a list of Chinese officials’ promises and statements made about human rights and the Olympics).

Since the Games opened on August 8, foreign journalists in Beijing have told Human Rights Watch that surveillance and harassment by security personnel has intensified. Those security personnel include plainclothes police, official Olympics volunteers, and Beijing citizens in neighborhood committees who reporters say attempt to deliberately intimidate them and their sources by photographing and video-recording their movements. “Today I was checking one of (Beijing’s) parks and I was followed at times by five people, some of them filming me and taking photos of me. I feel like a target,” a foreign journalist told Human Rights Watch on August 7.

Human Rights Watch said that the IOC should:

* establish a 24-hour hotline in Beijing for foreign journalists to report violations during the course of the games;
* demand that the Chinese government investigate cases of arrests, detentions, and harassment of media and ensure that there will be no further abuses;
* publicly press the Chinese government to disclose the whereabouts of sources who have disappeared after giving interviews to foreign media; and
* investigate all incidents of abuse of foreign journalists and their sources and report on them publicly in China before the opening of the September Paralympics to help avert similar media freedom abuses.

In the past 10 days, Human Rights Watch has documented incidents of abuse of foreign media freedom, including:  Read the rest of this entry »

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China: British Journalist Held, Roughed Up By Police in Beijing

Posted by Author on August 15, 2008

By Jill Drew, Washington Post Foreign Service, Thursday, August 14, 2008-

BEIJING, Aug. 13 — As Beijing police scrambled Wednesday afternoon to whisk away a group of Free Tibet protesters near the Olympic Park, they also detained and roughed up a British reporter attempting to cover the demonstration.

“I was shouting, ‘I’m a British journalist,’ ” John Ray, a correspondent for Britain’s Independent Television News, said later. But police dragged Ray into the back of a nearby restaurant and later bundled him into a police van.

“It was very forceful, very rough,” he said.

The incident is the latest example of a foreign journalist being blocked from reporting in China, despite promises by the government and Olympic officials that the news media would be free to operate during the Games. Several journalists attempting to cover small protests around Beijing have been harassed, photographed and manhandled.

Ray’s Olympic credentials were in his pocket, but he could not reach them because police had pinned his arms behind him, “one guy holding each arm,” he said. The officers pulled off Ray’s shoes, and when he tried to struggle away, they kicked his legs, tripping him.

Five or six officers then “frog-marched” Ray to a police van, he said, and pushed him in, throwing in a yellow cloth behind him before they slammed the doors. His hands now free, Ray fished out his Olympic credentials from his pocket. “One officer asked me in English what were my views of Tibet,” Ray said. “I told him I was a journalist and didn’t have any views.”

He showed the officer his credentials and, after about 20 minutes, was released. “One of our Chinese staff asked why they arrested me, and an officer said, ‘Didn’t you see? He tried to unfurl that banner,’ ” pointing to the yellow cloth they had thrown into the van.

“That is categorically untrue,” Ray said. “I was there merely to report, not to take part in anything. I didn’t have a banner. I didn’t have a T-shirt. I was wearing pretty standard foreign correspondent garb.”

The information office of the Beijing Public Security Bureau did not respond to questions about Ray’s detention. It instead released a statement about the protest, saying eight foreigners who had been “conducting activities against Chinese law” were stopped by police on patrol. It said police would cancel their tourist visas and accompany them until they left the country.

The protest was organized by Students for a Free Tibet, which has succeeded in staging several small-scale demonstrations in Beijing, despite ultra-tight security.

Seven of the eight protesters were American, and one was a Tibetan Japanese woman who lives in Britain, according to Lhadon Tethong, director of Students for a Free Tibet. By Wednesday night, the Americans were en route to Los Angeles, but the whereabouts of the Tibetan Japanese woman were unknown.

– Original: Washington Post

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RSF: Clandestine Chinese FM radio program broadcast to Beijing residents 12 hours before Olympic opening ceremony

Posted by Author on August 8, 2008

Reporters Without Borders, Aug. 8, 2008-

Members of Reporters Without Borders today broadcast “Radio Without Borders,” China’s only independent FM radio station, in Beijing just hours before the start of the Olympic Games opening ceremony. In a programme lasting 20 minutes, Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard and Chinese human rights activists called on the Chinese government to respect free speech.

“The Chinese authorities refused to issue visas to ten of our members but this has not stopped us from making ourselves heard in Beijing by means of a clandestine radio broadcast using miniaturised FM transmitters and antennas,” Ménard said. “Reporters Without Borders devised and carried out this protest in a spirit of resistance against state control of the media.”

The press freedom organisation added : “This is the first non-state radio station to have broadcast in China since the Communist Party took power in 1949. Only international Chinese-language radio stations broadcasting on the short wave would be able to break this news and information monopoly, but they are jammed by the authorities.”

The Radio Without Borders broadcast began at 08:08 local time on 08/08/08, exactly 12 hours before the start of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games. The programme, in English, French and Mandarin, was heard in on 104.4 FM in different districts of the Chinese capital……. (more details from Reporters Without Borders)

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