Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

  • China Organ Harvesting Report, in 19 languages

  • Torture methods used by China police

  • Censorship

  • Massive protests & riots in China

  • Top 9 Posts (In 48 hours)

  • All Topics

  • Books to Read

    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
    3.
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    4.
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    5.
    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.”
  • RSS Feeds for Category

    Organ Harvesting

    Human Rights

    Made in China

    Food

    Health

    Environment

    Protest

    Law

    Politics

    Feed address for any specific category is Category address followed by 'Feed/'.

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 223 other followers

Archive for the ‘Shi Tao’ Category

Shi Tao

WAN Launches “Beijing 2008” Campaign Against Media Repression in China

Posted by Author on November 19, 2007


The World Association of Newspapers (WAN), Nov. 19, 2007-

The World Association of Newspapers has called on all participants in next summer’s Beijing Olympics — the International Olympic Committee, athletes, sponsors and other partners — to “exert serious pressure” on China to hold the government to its promises of reform.

In a resolution issued Monday by the Board of the Paris-based organisation, WAN also praised US lawmakers for their condemnation of Yahoo, which helped Chinese police persecute and arrest cyber-reporters. At least 30 journalists and 50 cyberdissidents are currently in Chinese prisons, and Chinese media remain under the draconian control of the authorities.

“The WAN Board believes the end of ’business as usual’ in China is necessary to effect belated and needed reform, and it encourages all partners in the Games, and all companies doing business with China, to speak out about China’s human rights abuses,” said the resolution, part of a global campaign by WAN to draw attention to Chinese press abuses and help free jailed journalists in the run-up to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

“By all accounts, the Beijing Games are shaping up to be a showcase for China. But these events should not be allowed to take place without active opposition by participants — the IOC, athletes, sponsors, media partners and others — to the repressive conditions that surround the Games. Turning a blind eye to these violations of human rights would be a scandal,” said WAN.

The WAN campaign also includes an international conference dedicated to the press freedom situation in China, to be held in Paris on 21 and 22 March 2008. The event, organised by WAN, the World Press Freedom Committee, Reporters Without Borders and Human Rights in China, is entitled, “2008 Olympics: Winning Press Freedom in China”. For more details, contact Virginie Jouan, Co-Director of Press Freedom and Development at WAN, at vjouan@wan.asso.fr.

WAN will also dedicate its World Press Freedom Day activities on 3 May next year to press freedom in China. It annually prepares a package of materials that are published by thousands of newspapers world-wide.

The WAN resolution issued Monday called on the International Olympic Committee, athletes, sponsors, media partners and others “to exert serious pressure on the Chinese authorities to cease their flagrant and persistent abuses of human rights and, notably, to release from prison the dozens of journalists serving long jail sentences for freely exercising their profession.”

Among those jailed journalists is Shi Tao, the laureate of the WAN Golden Pen of Freedom, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence on charges of “leaking state secrets” after he wrote an email in 2004 about media restrictions in the lead up to the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Yahoo provided state security authorities details about Tao’s e-mail usage that ultimately allowed them to trace the message to a computer he used at the newspaper.

Full details about the case can be found here.

“The Board of WAN applauds the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs for its condemnation of Yahoo for helping the Chinese police to persecute and arrest cyber-reporters and suggests that this should be an inspiration for politicians world-wide to make similar denunciations,” said the WAN resolution.

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs held hearings on Yahoo’s role in the Shi Tao case in November, leading Yahoo Chairman Jerry Yang to apologize to the mother of Shi Tao, and the company to settle a lawsuit brought by his family.

The full resolution can be read here.

The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, defends and promotes press freedom and the professional and business interests of newspapers world-wide. Representing 18,000 newspapers, its membership includes 76 national newspaper associations, newspaper companies and individual newspaper executives in 102 countries, 12 news agencies and 10 regional and world-wide press groups.

Original report from The World Association of Newspapers

Posted in Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, Media, News, People, Press freedom, Shi Tao, Social, Speech, Sports, World | 1 Comment »

Yahoo Settles With Jailed Chinese Dissidents

Posted by Author on November 14, 2007


By John Letzing, MarketWatch, Nov 13, 2007-

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Yahoo Inc. on Tuesday settled a lawsuit filed by Chinese dissidents and their family members who accused the Internet company of complicity in their jailing, following a humiliating episode on Capitol Hill.

Yahoo had been sued earlier this year in California by Wang Xiaoning, Shi Tao and Yu Ling for allegedly providing Chinese authorities with personal information that led to Shi and Wang’s imprisonment and torture.

In a joint stipulation of dismissal filed in U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, Yahoo and the plaintiffs say they have reached a “private settlement understanding,” though they disclosed no details. Yahoo agreed to bear the dissidents’ legal costs, according to the filing.

In a prepared statement, Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang said that Yahoo will now provide “financial, humanitarian and legal support” to the jailed dissidents’ families. Separately, Yang said Yahoo is also now establishing a fund “to provide support to other political dissidents and their families.”

Morton Sklar, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The settlement follows a dramatic appearance by Yang before a House committee earlier this month. Yang had been called to testify about his company’s responsibility for the jailing of Shi, a journalist who had used Yahoo services to post messages to a pro-democracy Web site.

In previous testimony in 2006, Yahoo general counsel Michael Callahan had said Yahoo had no understanding of why Chinese authorities were interested in Shi, when the company was asked to provide information about him.

Evidence later published by the San Francisco-based Dui Hua Foundation, however, indicated that Yahoo was aware that the authorities were investigating Shi’s part in the sharing of “state secrets.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-Calif., grilled Yang at the committee hearing earlier this month about what his company has done to help Shi’s family, following his jailing.

Yang apologized to Shi’s family at the hearing, and soon after met personally with family members.

“After meeting with the families, it was clear to me what we had to do to make this right for them, for Yahoo and for the future,” Yang said in his statement Tuesday.

It remains unclear, however, how other Internet companies aiming to compete in the Chinese market plan to prevent similar incidents. Yahoo has claimed that it was merely following local laws by handing user information to Chinese authorities, raising the possibility that others may face similar requests.

In a statement issued late Tuesday, Amnesty International director of business and human rights Amy O’Meara said that, “Compensation may help bring a small measure of justice to the families of Shi Tao and Wang Xiaoning, but it does not fix the underlying problem.”

“Band-Aid fixes are not going to stop a case like this from happening again,” O’Meara said.

John Letzing is a MarketWatch reporter based in San Francisco.

Original report from MarketWatch

Posted in China, Company, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, News, People, Shi Tao, Social, Speech, USA, World, Yahoo | Comments Off on Yahoo Settles With Jailed Chinese Dissidents

‘Morally you are pygmies’– Lawmaker Scolds Yahoo Over Jailed China Journalist

Posted by Author on November 8, 2007


By John Boudreau, San Jose Mercury News, U.S, 11/07/2007 –

Under scorching criticism for Yahoo’s role in handing over e-mail records to Chinese authorities that led to the imprisonment of journalist Shi Tao, Chief Executive Jerry Yang and General Counsel Michael Callahan on Tuesday rose from behind the witness table at a congressional hearing and bowed to Shi’s mother.

Gao Qinsheng, sitting directly behind them, bowed in return. Then she began to sob.

The stunning moment of apparent contrition from two powerful Silicon Valley executives punctuated a day of verbal fireworks as the House Foreign Affairs Committee berated Yahoo for giving up the identity of dissident Shi, who is now serving a 10-year prison sentence.

“While technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies,” scolded committee Chairman Tom Lantos, a San Mateo Democrat.

The Yahoo executives had again found themselves in the cross hairs of the committee after Lantos charged that Callahan provided false information to Congress in 2006. At that time, Callahan testified that in the case of dissident Shi, Yahoo did not know to whom the e-mail address belonged or why Chinese police were seeking the information.

Callahan since has acknowledged that Yahoo officials had received a subpoena-like document that made reference to suspected “illegal provision of state secrets” – a common charge against political dissidents. Last week, Callahan apologized for not telling Congress that he learned the details of the document months after his February 2006 testimony.

Yang defended the company’s commitment to human rights while describing the importance of China’s market, which has close to 200 million Internet users, an online population that could soon surpass that of the United States.

Callahan contended that Yahoo employees in China had little choice but to comply with the government’s demands. “I cannot ask our local employees to resist lawful demands and put their own freedom at risk, even if, in my personal view, the local laws are overbroad,” he said.

The two executives were subjected to a bipartisan pummeling in which committee member Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., compared Yahoo’s cooperation with the Chinese government to companies that cooperated with Nazi Germany during World War II.

The bruising committee hearing, during which Lantos called the Sunnyvale Internet giant “spineless and irresponsible,” underscored the ethical shoals Silicon Valley companies must navigate in the global economy.

Even as Yang and Callahan testified, the lure of overseas markets was highlighted as shares of Alibaba.com, which owns China’s largest online business-to-business Web site, nearly tripled during its first day of public trading in Hong Kong. In 2005, Yahoo invested $1 billion in Alibaba and owns about 40 percent of the company. Alibaba now runs Yahoo China.

Companies face numerous challenges in tough markets like China, where the government can be friend and foe, observers say.

Just last month, for instance, search engines operated by Google, Yahoo China and Microsoft were redirected to Baidu, a Chinese-owned search provider, at the same time Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, whom China accuses of being a “splitist,” met with President Bush and was awarded the highest congressional civilian award. China’s government rarely explains such actions, but some experts assume it was a form of retaliation.

“There are in the Internet filtering business all manner of coincidences,” observed John Palfrey, executive director of the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society at Harvard University, which closely monitors the Web. “It’s hard to know if they are connected, though it sure looks that way.” …… ( more details from San Jose Mercury News)

Posted in Business, Businessman, China, Company, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, News, People, Politics, Shi Tao, USA, World, Yahoo | Comments Off on ‘Morally you are pygmies’– Lawmaker Scolds Yahoo Over Jailed China Journalist

US Congress panel summons Yahoo officials over ‘false’ testimony on jailed China journalist

Posted by Author on October 19, 2007


AFP, Oct.16, 2007-

WASHINGTON (AFP) — An influential US Congressional panel on Tuesday summoned top officials of Yahoo for a hearing after accusing the Internet giant of providing false information over a case in which a journalist was thrown in jail in China for a decade.

Tom Lantos, the chairman of the House of Representatives committee on foreign affairs, asked the officials to appear at the hearing planned for November 6 to discuss the circumstances under which Chinese journalist Shi Tao was jailed after Yahoo provided user information to Beijing.

Shi Tao, was convicted in 2005 of divulging state secrets after he posted a Chinese government order forbidding media organizations from marking the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square uprising on the Internet.

Police identified him using information provided by Yahoo. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

The US corporation defends its action on the grounds that it has to comply with China’s laws to operate there.

“Our committee has established that Yahoo provided false information to Congress in early 2006,” Lantos said, referring to a hearing in February last year when the company’s senior vice president and general counsel, Michael Callahan, was grilled over Shi Tao’s case.

“We want to clarify how that happened, and to hold the company to account for its actions both before and after its testimony proved untrue. And we want to examine what steps the company has taken since then to protect the privacy rights of its users in China,” said Lantos, a senior Democrat lawmaker.

Callahan and Yahoo chief executive officer Jerry Yang were asked to appear at the upcoming Congressional hearing.

During the previous testimony, Yahoo claimed it “knew nothing” about the nature of the investigations into Shi Tao’s case but “we have now learned there is much more to the story than Yahoo let on,” said Chris Smith, a Republican lawmaker.

He said a Chinese government document that Yahoo had in its possession at the time of the hearing “left little doubt of the government’s intentions,” Smith said.

“US companies must hold the line and not work hand in glove with the secret police,” he charged.

But Yahoo countered Tuesday that the House panel’s decision to single out the company and accuse it of making misstatements was “grossly unfair and mischaracterizes the nature and intent of our past testimony.

“As the committee well knows from repeated meetings and conversations, Yahoo representatives were truthful with the committee. This issue revolves around a genuine disagreement with the committee over the information provided,” Yahoo’s Tracy Schmaler said in a statement to AFP.

She said that businesses in China faced “difficult questions of how to best balance the democratizing forces of open commerce and free expression with the very real challenges of operating in countries that restrict access to information.

“This challenge is particularly acute for technology and communication companies such as Yahoo,” she pointed out.

Yahoo is engaged in a multi-stakeholder process with other companies and human rights groups to develop a global code of conduct for operating in countries around the world, including China, Schmaler said.

It is also working with the US State Department to deal with issues on a “diplomatic level.”

“We believe the answers to these broad and complex questions require a constructive dialogue with all stakeholders engaged in a collaborative manner,” Schmaler said.

She hoped the House committee would approach the upcoming hearing “in that same constructive spirit.”

– Original report from AFP

Posted in censorship, China, Company, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, Media, News, People, Politics, Shi Tao, Social, USA, World, Yahoo | 1 Comment »

U.S. Congress to Probe Yahoo’s Role in China Censorship

Posted by Author on August 3, 2007


By John Letzing, MarketWatch, U.S, Aug 3, 2007-

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Congressional investigators plan to examine Yahoo Inc.’s possible misrepresentation of its involvement in the jailing of a Chinese dissident, according to a statement released Friday by the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Committee staff “will investigate whether officials from the Internet company Yahoo misrepresented the company’s role in a human rights case in China that sent a journalist to jail for a decade,” Chairman Tom Lantos said in the statement, referring to Chinese journalist Shi Tao.

Shi was jailed after he posted an account of a government crackdown on democracy activists online, and Yahoo provided Chinese authorities with information about his email account, the statement said.

“It is bad enough that a wealthy American company would willingly supply Chinese police the means to hunt a man down for shedding light on repression,” Lantos said in the statement, adding that, “Covering up such a despicable practice when Congress seeks an explanation is a serious offense.”

“We expect to learn the truth, and to hold the company to account,” Lantos said.  (…… more details from MarketWatch’s report)

Posted in Asia, censorship, China, Company, email, Freedom of Speech, Hong kong, Human Rights, Internet, Journalist, Law, News, People, Politics, search engine, Shi Tao, Social, USA, World, Yahoo | Comments Off on U.S. Congress to Probe Yahoo’s Role in China Censorship

Yahoo sued by 2nd Jailed Journalist in China

Posted by Author on June 11, 2007


By AFP, 11 June 2007, from Myadsl.co.za –

The mother of a Chinese journalist serving a 10-year jail sentence on Sunday called for US Internet giant Yahoo to be penalised for handing authorities the information that led to his conviction.

Shi Tao was convicted of divulging state secrets after he posted a Chinese government order forbidding media organisations from marking the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square uprising on the Internet. Police identified him using information provided by Yahoo.

Shi’s mother, Gao Qinsheng, told a press conference she hoped Yahoo would be punished for its actions.

Her comments came after Shi’s name was added to a lawsuit filed against Yahoo and its Hong Kong subsidiary in the United States by another Chinese cyberdissident, Wang Xiaoning.

Information provided by Yahoo was also used to convict Wang, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for “incitement to subvert state power”. The two are suing the company for breach of their human rights.

Hong Kong legislator and pro-democracy campaigner Albert Ho, who has campaigned on the issue, said the case could become a class action lawsuit.

Lawyers believe information provided by Yahoo has enabled Chinese authorities to convict at least four journalists and campaigners.

Ho, who became involved after Shi’s mother approached him for help, said he had also filed an appeal against a ruling by the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner that Yahoo did not breach Shi’s rights.

“It is academic really because Shi Tao is in prison. But we want to seek some redress against Yahoo,” said Ho.

The US corporation defends its action on the grounds that it has to comply with China’s laws to operate there.

In an emotional address, Gao said her son was a dedicated journalist who had been victimised by the authorities.

She was in Hong Kong on her way back from South Africa, where she collected a press freedom award on behalf of her son.

She said he had been kept under close surveillance in jail and had suffered skin disease and stomach problems, although he appeared in good spirits.

The 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre remains one of the most taboo subjects in China, where the official line is that authorities put down the “political disturbance” to safeguard economic and social stability.

This week three top editors of a Chinese newspaper were sacked over the publication of an advert saluting the mothers of victims of the massacre.

AFP
original report from Myadsl.co.za 

Posted in Albert Ho, Asia, censorship, China, Company, email, Hong kong, Human Rights, Internet, Journalist, June 4, Law, News, People, Politics, Shi Tao, Social, Speech, Technology, Tiananmen, USA, World, Yahoo | 1 Comment »

Golden Pen of Freedom Awarded to Jailed Chinese Journalist

Posted by Author on June 5, 2007


World Association of Newspapers (WAN), June 4, 2007-

Shi TaoThe award to Shi Tao, who was imprisoned after the American search engine company Yahoo provided information to the Chinese authorities that led to his arrest, was made today, 4 June, the 18th anniversary of the massacre.

” Even today, most Chinese know nothing about what happened that day. The Communist regime continues to prevent the Chinese media from talking and writing about it openly and honestly and will go to great lengths to silence any such revelations and to severely punish those who make them,” said George Brock, President of the World Editors Forum, who presented the award.

“Shi Tao, whom we are honouring here today, has learned this to his own great cost. He revealed what the state did not want known and he pays the price in prison today,” he said.

The award was accepted by the mother of the jailed journalist, Gao Qinsheng, who said her son was “a direct victim of the shackles of press freedom.”Mother of Shi Tao

The Golden Pen Award “proves that my son is indeed innocent. He has only done what a courageous journalist should do. That is why he has got the support and the sympathy from his colleagues all over the world, who uphold justice, the colleagues who have been concerned about Shi Tao who has lost his freedom, been locked up in prison,” she said. The full text of her remarks can be found at http://www.wan-press.org/article143…

The award was presented Monday during the opening ceremonies of the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum, the global meetings of the world’s press, which drew more than 1,600 newspaper executives and editors from 105 countries to Cape Town, South Africa.

WAN also announced a campaign to win the release of Mr Shi and dozens of other journalists and cyber-dissidents in Chinese jails, to keep the cases in the forefront of news coverage in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics next year.

Mr Shi is serving a 10-year sentence on charges of “leaking state secrets” for writing an e-mail about media restrictions in the run-up to the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 2004. The e-mail was picked up by several overseas internet portals — and also by Chinese authorities, with the assistance of Yahoo. The internet service provider gave state security authorities information that allowed them to trace the message to a computer he used at the newspaper where he worked, the Dangdai Shang Bao (Contemporary Business News).

“How the Chinese authorities traced this e-mail, and discovered that Shi Tao was the author, is a cautionary tale with widespread implications for on-line privacy, and for the way that western communications companies do business in their understandably difficult dealings with repressive regimes,” said Mr Brock.

“While those who do business around the globe must often deal with non-democratic countries, we believe that new media companies that provide more and more of the means for global communications have a special responsibility” he said. “They have an obligation to ensure that the basic human rights of their users will be protected, and they must carefully guard against becoming accomplices in repression.”

Mr Brock’s full remarks can be found at http://www.wan-press.org/article143…

Mr Shi distributed information that had been sent to his newspaper by the Chinese authorities, warning journalists of the dangers of “social destabilisation” and risks linked to the return of certain dissidents to China for the commemoration of the massacre, in which democracy supporters, mostly students, were brutally gunned down by Chinese troops on 4 June 1989.

Mr Shi, a poet as well as a journalist, had published numerous essays and political problems relating to social problems in China on pro-democracy web sites. He worked as a reporter, editor and division director at several newspapers, joining the Contemporary Business News in 2004 as an editorial director and assistant to its Chief Editor. He resigned from the paper in May 2004 to become a free-lance journalist and was arrested six months later.

He is one of dozens of journalists and cyber-dissidents in prison in China, the world’s largest jailer of journalists.

The award to Shi Tao has already provoked the ire of the Chinese authorities. The official China Newspaper Association has demanded the award be withdraw because a Chinese court “handled the case according to law and made the appropriate sentence” and that China’s constitution protects press freedom.

“We are not impressed by this argument,” said Mr Brock. “If the law makes it possible to send a journalist to jail in such a case, the law should be abolished immediately since it contradicts every conceivable international standard and convention on freedom of information and human rights.

“As for the claim that the Chinese constitution protects freedom of speech, this guarantee is nothing more than a mere fiction. Such freedoms simply do not exist in China. Indeed, if they did, Shi Tao would not be in prison today, nor would dozens of other journalists.”

WAN, the global association of the newspaper industry, has awarded the Golden Pen annually since 1961. Past winners include Argentina’s Jacobo Timerman (1980), South Africa’s Anthony Head (1986), China’s Dai Qing (1992), Vietnam’s Doan Viet Hoat of Vietnam (1998), Zimbabwe’s Geoffrey Nyarota (2002), and Sudan’s Mahjoub Mohamed Salih (2005). Last year’s winner was Akbar Ganji of Iran.

The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 18,000 newspapers; its membership includes 77 national newspaper associations, newspaper companies and individual newspaper executives in 102 countries, 12 news agencies and 10 regional and world-wide press groups.

Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Director of Communications, WAN, 7 rue Geoffroy St Hilaire, 75005 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 00. Fax: +33 1 47 42 49 48. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail: lkilman@wan.asso.fr

Posted in Beijing, censorship, ceremony, China, email, Event, Human Rights, Incident, Internet, Journalist, June 4, Law, Media, News, Newspaper, People, Politics, Shi Tao, Special day, Speech, Tiananmen, World | Comments Off on Golden Pen of Freedom Awarded to Jailed Chinese Journalist

WAN Rejects China’s Request to Withdraw Award to Chinese Journalist

Posted by Author on March 9, 2007


The World Association of Newspapers, France, 8 March 2007-

Paris- The World Association of Newspapers has rejected a request by the China Newspaper Association to withdraw a prestigious press freedom prize that was awarded to journalist Shi Tao, who was imprisoned for writing about restrictions on the media in the run-up to the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

The China Newspaper Association had protested to WAN against the decision to award the 2007 WAN Golden Pen of Freedom to Mr Shi, claiming that the Chinese court “handled the case according to law and made the appropriate sentence” and that the Chinese constitution protects press freedom.

In rejecting the request, WAN CEO Timothy Balding said: “We are not at all impressed by the fact that this and other cases were dealt with ’according to the law’ and by courts. If the law does indeed make it possible to send a journalist to jail in such a case, the law should be abolished without delay, since it would be in contradiction with every conceivable international standard and convention on freedom of information and human rights.”

“The Chinese constitution may well, as you note, guarantee the ’people’s freedom of speech as well as press freedom’,” Mr Balding said in a letter to the Chinese association. “Unfortunately, this guarantee is a mere fiction and such freedoms simply don’t exist in China, as I’m sure you are perfectly aware. Indeed, if they did, Shi Tao would not be in prison today and nor would dozens of other journalists.”

Mr Shi is serving a 10-year sentence on charges of “leaking state secrets” for writing an e-mail about media restrictions in the run-up to the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 2004. The e-mail was picked up by several overseas internet portals — and also by Chinese authorities, with the assistance of Yahoo. The internet service provider gave state security authorities details of Mr Shi’s e-mail usage that ultimately allowed them to trace the message to a computer he used at the newspaper where he worked, the Dangdai Shang Bao (Contemporary Business News).

“It is completely absurd to characterize Shi Tao’s actions as leaking state secrets,” Mr Balding said. “He distributed information about censorship orders given out to the media by the Propaganda Department. The orders instructed them how to cover the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen events. Are such orders perhaps the freedom of the press that your constitution allegedly protects? No, of course not, which is why Shi Tao took the courageous decision, which any professional reporter in a democracy would also do, to disseminate this information.

“I must add, frankly, that we are greatly disappointed that your organization, which is supposed to represent newspapers and to protect their interests, finds that sending a reporter to jail for 10 years is ’an appropriate sentence’, ” said Mr Balding, who provided the Chinese association with details of the cases of Mr Shi and eight of the many other journalists imprisoned in China.

Read the full exchange between the China Newspaper Association and WAN here.

The Golden Pen of Freedom will be awarded to Mr Shi at the 60th World Newspaper Congress, 14th World Editors Forum and Info Services Expo 2007, to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 3 to 6 June. More than 1,500 newspaper publishers, chief editors and other senior newspaper executives are expected to attend the events, the global meetings of the world’s press (www.wan-press.org/capetown2007).

The Golden Pen of Freedom is WAN’s annual award recognising individuals or organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the defence and promotion of press freedom. More about the award and its laureates can be found here.

The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 18,000 newspapers; its membership includes 76 national newspaper associations, newspaper companies and individual newspaper executives in 102 countries, 12 news agencies and 10 regional and world-wide press groups.

Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Director of Communications, WAN, 7 rue Geoffroy St Hilaire, 75005 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 00. Fax: +33 1 47 42 49 48. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail: lkilman@wan.asso.fr

original report from The World Association of Newspapers

Posted in censorship, China, Company, email, Europe, Human Rights, Internet, Journalist, Law, Media, News, Newspaper, People, Politics, Shi Tao, Social, Speech, World, Yahoo | Comments Off on WAN Rejects China’s Request to Withdraw Award to Chinese Journalist

Latest Report: China – World’s No. 1 Jailer of Journalists

Posted by Author on December 12, 2006


China has been the world’s No.1 jailer of journalists for the 8th consecutive year, with 31 imprisoned, reported in its annual survey published on December 7, 2006, by the Committee to Protectchina- no.1 jailer Journalists (CPJ). Cuba, Eritrea, and Ethiopia were the other top 4 jailers among the 24 nations who imprisoned journalists.

The report shows that about three-quarters of the cases in China were brought under vague “antistate” laws; 19 cases involve Internet journalists. China’s list includes Shi Tao, an internationally recognized journalist serving a 10-year sentence for posting notes online detailing propaganda department instructions on how to cover the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. The government declared the instructions a “state secret.”
CPJ’s annual worldwide census found one in three is now an Internet blogger, online editor, or Web-based reporter.

The roster of jailed Internet journalists includes China’s “citizen” reporters, the independent Cuban writers who file reports for overseas Web sites, and the U.S. video blogger Joshua Wolf who refused to hand over footage to a grand jury.

“China is challenging the notion that the Internet is impossible to control or censor, and if it succeeds there will be far-ranging implications, not only for the medium but for press freedom all over the world.” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said.

CPJ’s special report 2006 can be found here:

Internet fuels rise in number of jailed journalists

Posted in Blog, censorship, China, email, Human Rights, Internet, Journalist, Law, Media, News, People, Politics, Report, Shi Tao, Social, Speech, website, World | 2 Comments »

How Yahoo assist Government Censorship in China(5)

Posted by Author on August 22, 2006


(cont’d) In response to the public outcry after the case of Shi Tao came to light in early September 2005, Yahoo! spokesperson Mary Osako said: “Just like any other global company, Yahoo! must ensure that its local country sites must operate within the laws, regulations and customs of the country in which they are based.”64

Chinese court documents cite Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong) as the entity responsible for handing over user data in these cases. However, Yahoo! executives insist that the user data for email accounts under the Yahoo.com.cn service was housed on servers in China, not Hong Kong. According to Michael Callahan, Yahoo!’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel: “Yahoo! China and Yahoo! Hong Kong have always operated independently of one another. There was not then, nor is there today, any exchange of user information between Yahoo! Hong Kong and Yahoo! China.”65

Yahoo-cn filter Dongzhou

Figure 3: Yahoo.com.cn (Yahoo! China) filtered search on “Dongzhou” (results are non-political and unrelated to the shooting incident or protests)

(to be cont’d…)

– From IV. How Multinational Internet Companies assist Government Censorship in China,
of “Race to the Bottom: Corporate Complicity in Chinese Internet Censorship,” by Human Rights Watch

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Related:
Undermining freedom of expression in China, Amnesty International

Posted in China, Hong kong, Journalist, People, Shi Tao, Social, Special report, Speech, Technology, World, Yahoo | Comments Off on How Yahoo assist Government Censorship in China(5)

How Yahoo assist Government Censorship in China(3)

Posted by Author on August 19, 2006


(cont’d…)
Yahoo! user data employed by Chinese authorities to help convict critics: Yahoo! China provides a Chinese-language email service at Yahoo.com.cn. Independent tests have indicated, and Yahoo! executives have confirmed, that data for the Yahoo.com.cn email accounts is housed on servers inside the PRC.59 As of this writing, court documents obtained by human rights groups have shown that user data handed over by Yahoo! to Chinese law enforcement officials has assisted in the arrest and conviction of at least four people who used email accounts from the Yahoo.com.cn service. The four cases are as follows:

  • Shi Tao: The Chinese journalist was sentenced in April 2005 to ten years in prison for “divulging state secrets abroad.” According to court documents translated by the Dui Hua Foundation and released by Reporters Sans Frontières. Yahoo! complied with requests from the Chinese authorities for information regarding an IP address connected to a cn.mail.yahoo.com email account. The information provided by Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong) Holdings linked Shi Tao to materials posted on a U.S.-based dissident website. 60 (See Appendix III for full case details.)

  • Li Zhi: The Internet writer was sentenced in December 2003 to eight years in prison for “inciting subversion of the state authority.” According to the court verdict originally posted on the Internet by the Chinese law firm that defended him, user account information provided by Yahoo! was used to build the prosecutors’ case. 61 (See Appendix IV for full case details.)

  • Jiang Lijun: The Internet writer and pro-democracy activist was sentenced in November 2003 to four years in prison for “subversion.” According to the court verdict obtained and translated by the Dui Hua Foundation, Yahoo! helped confirm that an anonymous email account used to transmit politically sensitive emails was used by Jiang.62 (See Appendix V for full case details.) (to be cont’d…)

– From IV. How Multinational Internet Companies assist Government Censorship in China,
of “Race to the Bottom: Corporate Complicity in Chinese Internet Censorship,” by Human Rights Watch

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Related:
Undermining freedom of expression in China, Amnesty

Posted in Activist, censorship, China, email, Internet, Journalist, Law, People, Politics, Shi Tao, Social, Special report, Speech, Technology, World, Yahoo | Comments Off on How Yahoo assist Government Censorship in China(3)