RFA in the News (August 2018)

2018-10-16
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GLOBAL VOICES

August 31 “‘Fake news’ is in the eye of the beholder: China is centralizing efforts to stop online ‘rumors’

… But Radio Free Asia pointed out that the very definition of “rumor” in China quite often refers to politically sensitive information that is proven to be true.

WORLD MAGAZINE

August 31 “Cross demolitions continue

…“Xi Jinping requires the whole party and the whole country to bow down before him,” political analyst Gao Xin told Radio Free Asia.

CHOSUN ILBO

August 31 “U.S. Disaster Agency Prepares for N.Korean Nuclear Attack

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency is making preparations for a bigger nuclear attack the U.S. mainland could suffer from North Korea, Radio Free Asia reported Wednesday.

STRAITS TIMES (also in YONHAP NEWS)

August 31 North Korea continues to produce, stockpile cluster bombs: Report

… The non-governmental Cluster Munition Coalition released the report at the United Nations in Geneva on Thursday, according to Radio Free Asia.

KOREA JOONGANG DAILY

August 31 “U.S. blocked Nike from sponsoring joint team

… The Radio Free Asia report did not explain which sanctions the U.S. government was referring to when it gave the red flag to Nike, but it appeared to be United Nations Security Council Resolution 2270, passed in March 2016 to denounce Pyongyang for a ballistic missile test. It bans UN member states from providing the North with “luxury goods,” including recreational sports equipment.

PBS NEWSHOUR

August 30 “[VIDEO] What’s behind China’s mass crackdown on Uighur Muslims?

… Gulchehra Hoja:  I learned in February that my aunt’s cousins, their children, more than 20 people had been swept up by authorities in the same day.

SUPCHINA

August 30 “Will The U.S. Sanction China Over Its Muslim ‘Re-Education’ Camps?

… As we document in our recent explainer on the situation, major media reporting from the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed, Agence France-Presse, the Financial Times, Radio Free Asia, and more — in addition to research done by Adrian Zenz of the European School of Culture and Theology in Germany, and others — has documented a systematic campaign to detain and “re-educate” ethnic minorities, particularly Uyghurs, in Xinjiang.

FREE MUSE

August 30 “Vietnam: Singer and concertgoers allegedly beaten

… Tin was performing pre-Communist era love songs to an audience of about 50 people, including prominent rights activists Pham Doan Trang and Nguyen Dai, when dozens of policemen entered the Casanova Cafe and shut down the show, reported Radio Free Asia.

YONHAP NEWS

August 30 “N. Korea has not responded to U.N. request for info on enforced disappearances: report

… Citing an annual report by the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, Radio Free Asia said the group has called for the U.S. Security Council to consider asking the International Criminal Court to launch a probe into the matter.

HUFFPOST (also in THINK PROGRESS, NPR)

August 29 “Who Are The Uighurs? China Is Detaining This Muslim Minority By The Million.

… In February, China imprisoned the families of four U.S.-based Uighur journalists at Radio Free Asia, apparently as retribution for their coverage of what’s happening in Xinjiang.

ATLANTIC

August 28 “China Is Treating Islam Like a Mental Illness

… Here’s an excerpt from an official Communist Party audio recording, which was transmitted last year to Uighurs via WeChat, a social-media platform, and which was transcribed and translated by Radio Free Asia.

WASHINGTON POST (also in CHINA DIGITAL TIMES)

August 27 “OPINION: Google is on the verge of making a huge mistake with China

… I listened to programs like Voice of America and Radio Free Asia at night while wrapped under my quilt, the speaker pressed close to my ear at the lowest possible volume. Having had my freedom denied me by the Chinese Communist Party, the news of this upstart tech company risking lost revenue to do the right thing gave me real hope.

NATIONAL REVIEW

August 27 “Matters East Asian

… On Friday, Radio Free Asia had a bulletin and an interview. “Gao Zhisheng, 54, disappeared just over a year ago from a remote cave dwelling in the northern province of Shaanxi, where he was being held under house arrest.”

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

August 27 “Australia: Press Vietnam To End Systemic Abuses

…. Hua Phi told a reporter at Radio Free Asia that he thought the attack may have been related to an invitation he received to meet with Australian diplomats on June 25 in Ho Chi Minh City in preparation for the human rights dialogue.

WASHINGTON POST

August 25 “OPINION: John McCain spent his life serving the dignity of his fellow man

… One of them wept as he heard the familiar disembodied voice on Radio Free Asia that had spoken in their defense address them in person.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE (also in KHMER TIMES, ASSOCIATED PRESS, ASIA TIMES, WORLD BULLETIN, AUSTRALIAN, PHNOM PENH POST, ASIA NEWS NETWORK, LOS ANGELES TIMES, UCA NEWS)

August 25 “King pardons ex-Cambodian opposition lawmaker jailed over Facebook post about Vietnam border

… A day later, two journalists who worked for US-backed broadcaster Radio Free Asia received bail after 10 months of detention.

STRAITS TIMES (also in YONHAP NEWS, BITCOIN.COM, CCN, COINGEEK, FX STREET, BITCOINISTCOIN RIVET, UNHASHED, CRYPTO BLOCK, COINDOO, CRYPTO NEWS REVIEW, FX EMPIRE, DCE BRIEF, BLOCKCHAIN STOCKS)

August 25 “North Korea to host international blockchain conference in October: Report

… North Korea plans to hold an international conference on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in Pyongyang in October, US-based Radio Free Asia said on Saturday

YONHAP

August 23 “N. Korea's population grows by 100,000 to 25.60 mln this year: report

According to Radio Free Asia, the 2018 World Population Data Sheet, compiled by PRB, also forecast the North's population to grow every year down the road and increase by 1.1 million more than this year to 26.70 by 2030.

FOREIGN POLICY

August 22 “China’s Mass Internment Camps Have No Clear End in Sight

… In one township, police told reporters from Radio Free Asia that they were expected to send 40 percent of the population, including nearly 100 percent of men between the ages of 20 and 50, to the interment system.

PHNOM PENH POST

August 22 “RFA ‘spies’ released on bail”, “Former CNRP lawmaker Ou Chanroth urges jailed CNRP freed” , “Hun Sen hints at pardons for imprisoned CNRP members” and CCIM: Drop journos’ charges

“I will try to ask the court to drop our charges because we did not work for Radio Free Asia since it closed down in Phnom Penh,” he said, adding that it will be his next move after leaving prison.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

August 21 “2 Cambodian Reporters Charged With Spying Released on Bail and “Hun Sen Considering Amnesty for Cambodian Prisoners

Two Cambodian journalists who had worked for U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia and are charged with espionage were released on bail Tuesday, a day after a pardon freed four land rights activists from prison.

REUTERS (also in AL JAZEERA, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS, KHMER TIMES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NHK WORLDPHNOM PENH POST, SOUTHEAST ASIA GLOBE, CHANNEL NEWS ASIA, UCA NEWS, ORGANIZED CRIME AND CORRUPTIONR EPORTING PROJECT, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD)

August 21 “Two Cambodian journalists facing spying charges freed on bail

… The two, who used to work for the Washington-based Radio Free Asia (RFA), had been in pre-trial detention since they were arrested in November and charged with espionage and producing pornography.

TIMES (UK)

August 21 “China’s Problem with the Uyghurs

According to Radio Free Asia, An orphanage worker told the broadcaster that Uighur children aged six months to 12 years were “locked up like farm animals.”

BUSINESS INSIDER

August 21 “A Chinese landlord was arrested on terror charges for renting out his home to ethnic minority Muslims

… A young Uighur man studying at a university outside of Xinjiang told Radio Free Asia that the government's crackdown on Uighur passports prompted him to flee the country.

DIPLOMAT

August 20 “The Great Game for the Future of Tibetan Buddhism

… Ogyen Trinley Dorje put all the speculation to rest in an interview to Radio Free Asia in Washington D.C. – he has stated that he will return to India by November 2018.

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS

August 20 “Vietnamese videographer beaten and harassed in prison

Authorities beat Hoa, a reporter with Radio Free Asia, into making a forced confession used in court to convict environmental activist Le Dinh Luong, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison on August 16 on charges of attempting to overthrow the government.

NEWS LENS

August 20 “CAMBODIA: Gold Mining Blamed for Mass Poisonings Despite Official Denials

The Kratie incident was shortly followed by another mass poisoning of 80 Phnorng indigenous peoples in neighboring Mondulkiri, as reported by Radio Free Asia.

BUSINESS INSIDER

August 19 “Barging into your home, threatening your family, or making you disappear: Here's what China does to people who speak out against them

… Nobody has heard from him since. His lawyers, friends, and family have all tried contacting him, but have consistently been denied access, Radio Free Asia reported.

KOREA TIMES

August 19 “N. Korea smuggles tobacco products

… "The smugglers used to sell a carton of cigarettes to China for 50 yuan ($7.20), but now it a carton is sold for 55 yuan," a source told Radio Free Asia (RFA) last week.

ASIA TIMES

August 19 “How Cambodia’s prime minister rigged an election

…This move followed weeks of tensions involving the expulsion of the National Democratic Institute from the country and the shuttering of 32 radio stations critical of the government, including the US-funded Radio Free Asia and Voice of America.

UPI (also in AL BAWABA)

August 18 “Vietnam court sentences activist to 20 years in prison; U.S. calls for release

… Le Dinh Luong, a veteran of Vietnam's 1979 border war with China, was arrested July 24 and accused of calling for a boycott of parliamentary elections in 2016 and of being a member of the U.S.-based Vietnamese opposition party Viet Tan, regarded by Vietnam as a terrorist organization, according to a report by Radio Free Asia, which receives U.S. government funding.

HUFFPOST

August 18 “World Leaders Opt For China’s Money Over The Rights Of 1 Million Jailed Muslims

… The U.S. has been one of the few governments to at least pay lip service to *the need for change, through its support of a well-respected Uighur news service run by state-funded broadcaster Radio Free Asia and a consistent line for years from officials and lawmakers.

INQUISTR

August 18 “Chinese Man Detained After Questioning Why People Can’t Call Taiwan A Country

… She was reported to be locked up in a psychiatric hospital where she was receiving “treatment,” detailed Radio Free Asia.

WASHINGTON POST

August 18 “Signs that North Korea is planning something big for September: Blocked visas, parade practice and haircuts

… According to one report, a close eye is being kept on the finest details: Ruling-party youth groups have been sent around the country to keep tabs on taboo haircuts, Radio Free Asia reports.

ECONOMIST

August 18 “China suggests its camps for Uighurs are just vocational schools

… This month Radio Free Asia, an American-backed broadcaster, published the transcript of an audio recording, which it said that Xinjiang’s branch of the Communist Youth League had produced in order to help explain the detentions to the province’s residents.

TELEGRAPH

August 17 “North Korean fashion police crack down on banned haircuts

… Youth groups affiliated with the regime are said to have been deployed across the country to warn or detain citizens found sporting banned fashions or hairstyles, North Korean sources told Radio Free Asia.

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

August 16 “Hollywood director Weir testifies in Cambodia 'spying' trial

… US-backed Radio Free Asia closed down its Cambodia operations and two of its reporters were later arrested and hit with the same charge as Ricketson.

CHOSUN ILBO (also in UPI)

August 16 “N.Korea Bans Foreign Visitors” and “N.Korea's Travel Ban Applies Only to Chinese Tourists

Radio Free Asia on Tuesday reported that the North has suspended foreign group tours and banned visits by foreign businesspeople until Sept. 5.

KBS WORLD RADIO

August 16 “State Department: US, S. Korea in Close Contact over N. Korea

… According to Radio Free Asia on Thursday, Katina Adams, spokeswoman for the State Department's East Asia and Pacific Affairs Bureau, made the statement when asked to comment on Moon's speech.

SUP CHINA

August 15 “Labor Activists Allege Sexual Humiliation And Sleep Deprivation In Police Custody

… Yesterday, Radio Free Asia reported on a “Maoist labor campaigner ‘kidnapped,’ believed detained, in China’s Guangdong.”

HUFFPOST

August 15 “How The World Learned China Is Holding Over A Million Muslims In Internment Camps

Radio Free Asia, a U.S.-funded broadcaster, has run a Uighur-focused service for 20 years; based in Washington, the 12-person team has used extensive contacts in Xinjiang to break major scoops on the crisis, including the first reporting on the existence of the detention centers last spring and confirmation of deaths in the camps.

KOREA TIMES

August 15 “Can US firms invest in North Korea?

… Citing independent research by Radio Free Asia, the E-Best report said Intel, Microsoft, Google, Dell, Starbucks, Ford ands Boeing didn't respond to questions about their plans, if any, for doing business in North Korea.

BUSINESS INSIDER

August 15 “The US sanctioned Chinese and Russian entities for helping North Korea cash in on its billion-dollar smuggling schemes

… Sources told Radio Free Asia in November that there are about 20 joint ventures run by Chinese and North Korean tobacco firms that manufacture tobacco products for sale domestically and across the world through smuggling networks.

NEW AMERICAN

August 15 “In Religious Crackdown, China Interns Millions for Re-Education

… The two lawmakers also raised concerns about the regime’s arrest of the family members of reporters working for the U.S. government-backed Radio Free Asia.

PHNOM PENH POST

August 15 “Political analyst Kim Sok back in court as release nears” and “Political analyst Kim Sok back in court as release nears

… Sok was placed in pre-trial detention on February 17 last year for comments on Radio Free Asia (RFA) over the murder of prominent political analyst Kem Ley, who was gunned down in the capital on July 10, 2016.

VOX

August 15 “China’s brutal crackdown on the Uighur Muslim minority, explained

… Or, as a source told told Radio Free Asia, a Chinese official referred to the “reeducation” as “like spraying chemicals on the crops.”

CONVERSATION (also in MENAFN)

August 15 “How Cambodia's prime minister rigged an election

… This move followed weeks of tensions involving the expulsion of the National Democratic Institute from the country and the shuttering of 32 radio stations critical of the government, including the U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia and Voice of America.

WASHINGTON POST

August 14 EDITORIAL: We can’t ignore this brutal cleansing in China

Those detained include Uighur intellectuals and relatives of journalists who have reported on the campaign, including those of U.S.-sponsored Radio Free Asia.

TIMES OF INDIA

August 14 “China and its relationship with Islam

… In 2016, Radio Free Asia reported that over 1,000 mosque were demolished in a span of three months in Xinjiang. 

ASIA TIMES

August 13 “20 Vietnamese detained for trying to enter Poland illegally

… According to a previous report of Radio Free Asia, conditions in Polish detention are essentially fair.

KOREA TIMES

August 13 “Hopes rise for US-S. Korea joint repatriation project in NK

… "The soonest we will be able to go back to North Korea would be spring 2019 primarily because of the weather in North Korea," he told Radio Free Asia (RFA) in a recent interview.

CHOSUN ILBO

August 13 “N.Korean Restaurants in China Poised to Reopen

North Korean restaurants in China that shut down under sanctions against North Korea are preparing to reopen, Radio Free Asia reported Friday.

TAIWAN NEWS

August 13 “Banned pro-Mao party re-registers under new name in China

… The "Defend Mao Zedong People's Party" was banned shortly after the party was officially registered on August 8 2016, with key figures being imprisoned shortly thereafter, according to Radio Free Asia.

LOS ANGELES TIMES

August 12 “China threatens to demolish a mosque, the same day it faces questions at the U.N. over its treatment of Muslims

Radio Free Asia cited a Uighur source in 2014 claiming the attackers came from Hanerik township in Hotan prefecture, where 15 people died after a mosque closure led to protests and police action.

KOREA TIMES

August 12 “N. Korea smuggles cookware from joint industrial park

… "A trading company affiliated with the North Korean military has been smuggling electronic rice cookers out to China little by little since last year," a source in North Pyongan Province told Radio Free Asia last week.

WASHINGTON POST

August 11 “EDITORIAL China seeks to wage ‘unremitting struggle’ against the country’s intellectuals

Radio Free Asia, which published an account of the new drive, quoted a former official in the propaganda department as saying it was essentially an order to attempt mass brainwashing.

KBS WORLD RADIO

August 11 “Red Cross Sends Relief Team to N. Korea to Assist in Heat Wave

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported Saturday that the International Committee of the Red Cross dispatched a relief team to North Korea on Friday after verifying damages due to the heat wave.

NEW YORK TIMES

August 10 “Star Scholar Disappears as Crackdown Engulfs Western China

… Other prominent Uighurs who have vanished in the past two years, apparently into detention, include writers and website operators, a soccer star and a popular musician, according to Radio Free Asia and overseas Uighur groups with extensive contacts in Xinjiang.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

August 8 “OPINION: China’s Campaign Against Muslim Minorities

… Radio Free Asia leads in reporting on this crisis. In retaliation, Chinese authorities have detained dozens of family members related to Uyghur journalists

UPI

August 8 “Egypt's Orascom changes name, retains North Korea business

… In a letter sent to investors on July 18, Orascom said a board meeting was held in April to discuss a change in the company's name, Radio Free Asia reported Wednesday.

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES

August 8 “After Islam, China cracks down on Christianity; razes churches and confiscates Bibles

… "Officials at village, township and county level are confiscating all Qurans and the special mats used for namaaz[prayer]," a Kazakh source in Altay prefecture, near the border with Kazakhstan told Radio Free Asia.

DONG-A ILBO (also in CHOSHUN ILBO, KOOGLE, MARITIME EXECUTIVE)

August 8 “Another vessel suspected of carrying N. Korean coal found

… A Radio Free Asia report cited a person from North Pyongan Province working in trade as saying that there is a Russian company that fudges documents to disguise the North Korean coal shipped to the ports of Nakhodka and Vladivostok as its own.

IRRAWADDY

August 8 “The Women of 1988

… She also has had a career as a radio broadcast reporter for 19 years, with the Democratic Voice of Burma, then Radio Free Asia, and Voice of America’s Burmese service.

PHNOM PENH POST

August 6 “Rainsy says negotiations with ‘fake’ Hun Sen are impossible

… Rainsy continued his attack in an interview with Radio Free Asia, saying: “Hun Sen is a fake person. Look at him. Everything he does is fake. There’s no point in negotiating with a fake person.

CHINA DIGITAL TIMES

August 6 “More Xinjiang Residents Sent to Re-Education Camps

… Further narratives reveal that of the thousands of residents of Xinjiang’s Haniqatam Township that have been interned over the last two years, none have been released, Radio Free Asia reports.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

August 3 “OPINION: Chinese Vaccine Scandal Is a Big Warning for the U.S.

… Radio Free Asia reported that an internal review by Chinese drug regulators in 2016 showed 80% of data for clinical drug trials was fabricated.

CHOSUN ILBO

August 3 “U.S. Ramps up Warnings Against Violating N.Korea Sanctions

… The UN, in a report released Tuesday, said that the most important issue pending at the UNSC is not easing North Korea sanctions but implementing them properly, Radio Free Asia reported.

KHMER TIMES

August 3 “ACU will not investigate Adhoc over tax evasion

… In an interview with the Radio Free Asia yesterday, Mr Saray said the accusation against him was politically motivated.

WASHINGTON POST

August 2 “OPINION: Ethnic cleansing makes a comeback — in China

… U.S. citizen Gulchehra Hoja, a journalist for Radio Free Asia’s Uighur service, has had more than two dozen family members in China detained in the camps, including her elderly parents and her brother, who has not been heard from since his arrest last September. Many of her RFA colleagues have similar stories.

INDEPTH NEWS

August 2 “Asia's Evolving 'Free' Trade Deal May Not Benefit Workers

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on July 30 that authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong are holding more than 20 workers at a technology factory after they tried to set up their own trade union with the help of Maoist activists.

NATION

August 2 “Does rule of law have any future in Myanmar?

When Aung Ko Htwe told Radio Free Asia (RFA) earlier this year of the brutality he endured as a child soldier, the Army responded swiftly. But instead of launching an internal investigation, it sued him for “disrespecting” the nation.

JAMESTOWN FOUNDATION

August 1 “Xi’s Grip Loosens Amid Trade War Policy Paralysis

… This could, potentially, be seen as an indirect attack on Xi, whose personality cult has begun to resemble that constructed around Mao Zedong (Voice of America, July 16; Ming Pao (Hong Kong), July 16; Radio Free Asia, July 12).

INSTITUTE FOR WAR & PEACE REPORTING

August 1 “Are Kazaks Happy About Closer Ties to China?

… According to Radio Free Asia, there are currently up to 120,000 ethnic Uighurs detained in several dozen centres in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

ASIA TIMES (also in WIRE, HINDUSTAN TIMES, TRICYCLE, TRIBUNE, WEB INDIA 123)

August 1 “Tibetan Buddhist leader to return to India for meeting with Dalai Lama

… The Karmapa told The Tibetan Service of Radio Free Asia on Monday that he has been discussing his return to India with the government in New Delhi after being in the United States for some 10 months.

OBSERVER RESEARCH FOUNDATION

August 1 “Dark clouds looming over Southeast Asia’s democracies

… Last year, the Cambodian government forced The Cambodia Daily and Radio Free Asia to shut their respective offices.

YONHAP (also in KBS RADIO, ANI)

August 1 “Korea's minister-level official to address U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 29: report

… A minister-level official of North Korea is scheduled to give a key-note address for the fourth time at the general debate of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Sept. 29, Radio Free Asia reported Wednesday, dimming the possibility of the North's leader Kim Jong-un delivering a speech there.

BUSINESS INSIDER

August 1 “How a Chinese region that accounts for just 1.5% of the population became one of the most intrusive police states in the world

… In one town, Radio Free Asia reported that police were given the goal of detaining 3,000 Uighurs or Kazakhs a week who were critical of the government on social media or who just had family living overseas.

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