RFA in the News (August 2009)

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Aug. 31 “No suit against Chea Mony”

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said Sunday that Prime Minister Hun Sen had ordered officials of the Cambodian People's Party to halt legal action against Chea Mony, brother of slain union leader Chea Vichea, after he blamed the government for his brother's killing. The announcement during a Radio Free Asia broadcast reverses the government's position stated earlier this month that it had already begun legal action against Chea Mony.


Aug. 25 “Chinese president visits restive Xinjiang region”

… [Ilham] Tohti, an ethnic Uighur who teaches economics at a university in Beijing, told U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia that he was released Saturday without charge but was warned he could still be tried and executed.


Aug. 25 “Tibetan Internet user detained for viewing political contents”

A Tibetan youth named Pasang Norbu was detained by Chinese authorities in Lhasa on August 12 for viewing “restricted political information online,” Radio Free Asia reported citing sources.


Aug. 24 “Uighur exile airs prison killing allegation”

Rebiya Kadeer, the leader of China's Uighur minority in exile, has highlighted a report that nearly 200 inmates were “tortured” to death in prison. … In an interview with Radio Free Asia, [Ilham] Tohti said that police knocked on his door late Monday to warn him against speaking out about how the violence was handled.


Aug. 21 “RFA: Bosworth Mulls Visiting S.Korea, China and Japan Next Month”

U.S. special envoy on North Korea Stephen Bosworth is mulling a three-stop visit to South Korea, China and Japan early next month. The U.S.-based Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported citing an official from the U.S. Department of State.


Aug. 18 “Kim Jong-il ‘Asked Clinton to Watch Mass Propaganda Show’”

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il invited former U.S. President Bill Clinton to watch the “Arirang” mass gymnastic show with him, Radio Free Asia claimed Tuesday, but Clinton changed the subject.


Aug. 14 “US building tech tools to foil online censors”

The US agency behind Voice of America said Friday it is working on ways to slip news past tough Internet blockades in countries such as China and Iran. …BBG handles the US government’s non-military broadcasting, including Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, Voice of America, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks.


Aug. 13 “EDITORIAL: Burmese justice – Smarter sanctions against the Burmese generals after their latest sentence of Suu Kyi”

… Burma's junta has mostly shrugged off Western sanctions thanks to billions in sales of natural gas to China and Thailand, along with sales of timber and gems. Some of those sanctions have achieved little except to further impoverish the Burmese people and should be lifted. But the targeted sanctions have been more effective and could be tightened. No less valuable are Burmese language broadcasts of Radio Free Asia, which are vital in breaking the regime's monopoly on information.


Aug. 12 “Australia plans broadcasts to Burma”

… But foreign radio remains popular among locals, including US Government-funded Radio Free Asia and Democratic Voice of Burma, a Norwegian-supported operation.


Aug. 11 “Freed journalists ‘treated well’ during captivity in N. Korea”

… Unlike previous occasions, North Korea did not demand money for the release of the journalists, Radio Free Asia reported on Wednesday, quoting an official at the U.S. State Department.


Aug. 10 “Little Saigon newspaper hires back fired editor”

An editor at a Little Saigon newspaper, which faced the wrath of anti-communist protesters for nearly a year, has hired back one of the editors who lost his job following the controversy that spurred those protests. … Pham said he worked several years as a reporter under Vu and left in 2007 to work for Radio Free Asia.


Aug. 10 “Corruption threatens to stifle universities in central Asia”

… In July, the head of the Faculty of Languages at the University of Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), a head of department of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Khujand (Tajikistan) and two university professors in Bishkek and Osh (Kyrgyzstan) were accused of corruption for accepting bribes from students. In these three countries, students and their families have complained to Radio Free Asia that they are forced to pay for admission to university.


Aug. 10 “The life and execution of Kim Hyun”

Among the many interesting stories that are hidden in the archives of the North Korean ruling family, one of the most intriguing surrounds Kim Hyun, a mysterious illegitimate son of Kim Il Sung. … In an interview with Radio Free Asia on August 4th, Woodrow Wilson Center scholar James F. Person suggested that a post-Kim Jong Il North Korea might feature a co-operative leadership system led by “either Jang Sung Taek or Kim Hyun.”


Aug. 8 “The go-between: Interpreting life in Bermuda for freed Gitmo prisoners”

HAMILTON, Bermuda -- Rushan Abbas climbed the stone steps of Camden, the official residence of Bermuda's premier, earlier this summer and led three island newcomers into a stately receiving room where the Rev. Al Sharpton was waiting.

… In 1998, when U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia launched a Uighur language service, Ms. Abbas became the sole female voice on the channel, communicating world news to western China and other Uighur areas.


Aug. 6 “Chinese activist Huang Qi awaiting court ruling”

The three-hour secret trial of Chinese activist Huang Qi ended on Wednesday with no immediately ruling. …Huang’s lawyer Mo Shaoping told Radio Free Asia that the prosecution repeatedly violated court procedures.


Aug. 6 “Chinese regime to monitor subway conversations”

As China’s National Day (Oct. 1) approaches, the Chinese communist regime is strengthening its security checks around the subway system, and even plans to install microphones in the carriages to monitor peoples’ conversations.
According to a Radio Free Asia report, the director of the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, Song Jianguo, said on August 3 that stringent checks will be carried out on all vehicles supporting or taking part in the National Day activities.


Aug. 4 “Kadeer denies blame”

SYDNEY - Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer on Tuesday rejected Chinese reports her own children blamed her for inciting deadly unrest, as she arrived in Australia for a visit which has drawn strong protests from Beijing.

… She told Radio Free Asia that China's official Xinhua agency had forced her children to blame her for inciting last month's violence in China's restive Xinjiang region which the government says left at least 197 dead.


Aug. 3 “EDITORIAL: China’s obligations for peace”

China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, staunchly asserts the right of member nations to be left alone. An unlovely collection of tyrants in Burma, North Korea, Sudan and Zimbabwe are the principal beneficiaries of China's policy.

… Washington-based Radio Free Asia reports that senior Burmese military officers made a top-secret visit late last year to North Korea, where an agreement was concluded for greatly expanding military cooperation.

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