RFA in the News (August 2014)

2014-09-18
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PHNOM PENH POST

Aug. 29 “KDC workers counterprotest

While residents of Kampong Chhnang province’s Lorpeang village continue to push for community representatives to be released from jail, 28 workers from the politically connected KDC International company petitioned for them to be kept under lock and key and to be prosecuted. … The workers filed their petitions on Wednesday and yesterday at the Ministry of Justice, the prime minister’s cabinet, the National Assembly, and the Senate, and various local and international NGOs and Radio Free Asia accepted it.

DIPLOMAT

Aug. 26 “North Korea (Gradually) Warms Up to Coffee

Coffee is one of the most beloved beverages in the world, especially in leading nations like the United States, where 61 percent of adults drink coffee everyday. But what about isolated nations like North Korea? … The Washington D.C.-based Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported in April last year that a coffee shop offering hand drip coffee — the first of its kind — opened right next to the Pyongyang Hotel. The average price of its coffee was $3 a cup. At the time, Starbucks told RFA it has no plans to open any branches in North Korea. This stands in stark contrast to South Korea where Starbucks operates around 284 stores in Seoul alone, giving Seoul more Starbucks than any other city in the world.

TIME (Also in SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST)

Aug. 25 “China’s Silent War on Terror

… We might never know what happened there. The authorities moved quickly to restrict access to the area and pulled comments from the almost-always-out-of-service web. (In times of unrest, authorities slow, or stop, Internet traffic in Xinjiang; after the 2009 riots the entire region was without Internet for nine months.) Given China’s weak record on the rule of law — and the sensitivity of the case — it’s highly unlikely that there will be an impartial investigation, let alone a fair trial. People on the ground in Xinjiang are rightly frightened that they will be punished if they comment. According to Radio Free Asia, a nonprofit media group, one blogger was already arrested for “spreading rumors” about the number of deaths.

NEW YORK TIMES (Also in ASSOCIATED PRESS, AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, KYODO NEWS, PRESS TIMES OF INDIA, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, CHINA DIGITAL TIMES)

Aug. 20 “5 Tibetans Are Said to Die In Chinese Police Custody

Five Tibetans have died in police custody in southwestern China after a protest last week during which residents were shot and wounded, according to the exiled Tibetan government and other groups abroad. The accounts described a flaring of tensions in a mountainous area of Sichuan Province that has long been in turmoil over the Chinese government’s rule. … Later, the exiled Tibetan administration said it had confirmed the deaths of three more injured villagers who had been detained, echoing earlier reports from Radio Free Asia, a news service based in Washington, and Free Tibet, a group based in London.

PHNOM PENH POST (Also in CAMBODIA DAILY)

Aug. 20 “Knowing your audience
A day after National Assembly president Heng Samrin assured Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi that the government would take strict measures to quell further “extremist” Khmer Krom protests, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong reportedly told demonstration leaders yesterday that the government shared their concerns. … On Friday, Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak defended the demonstrators on radio, saying they were “simply expressing their opinions in a democratic country”. “Cambodia is different from Vietnam.… Cambodia allows freedom of expression under the framework of the law,” he told Radio Free Asia.

DEUTSCHE PRESSE AGENTUR (Also in NEW YORK TIMES, CHINA DIGITAL TIMES)

Aug. 14 “Chinese police open fire on Tibetan protestors

Police in a restive area of south-western China’s Sichuan province opened fire on Tibetans protesting the detention of a village leader, wounding about a dozen people and arresting others, reports said on Thursday. The police fired tear gas and live ammunition to disperse hundreds of Tibetans who gathered in Loshu township in Ganzi, or Kardze, prefecture on Tuesday following the detention of village leader Dema Wangdak, U.S.-based Radio Free Asia quoted exiled Tibetans as saying.

ARS TECHNICA

Aug. 12 “New study: Activists pose easy target for nation-state attackers

Lean operations and a lack of technical staff make non-governmental organizations a prime, and relatively soft, target for well-funded adversaries, according to an academic study of a four-year campaign targeting one such group. … Almost half the attacks used a real organizational event, such as a conference, as a lure to convince a target to open the attachments. Of the nearly 1,500 e-mails analyzed by the researchers, nearly 1,176 contained malicious attachments, mainly Office documents. The e-mails targeted more than 700 people at 108 different organizations through carbon-copied recipients, including the Australian Uyghur Association, Radio Free Asia, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

CHRISTIAN TODAY

Aug. 8 “Chinese Christian human rights lawyer released from prison

Prominent Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has been released by Chinese authorities, his brother has confirmed. … His wife, Geng He, has been living in the US with their two children after being granted asylum. She has not been able to speak with her husband following his release, which human rights laywer Hu Jia says is because Gao is under tight security. "[Gao's brother] is concerned that the state security police may retaliate against Gao," she explained in an interview with Radio Free Asia.

LOS ANGELES TIMES (Also in TIME, SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW)

Aug. 7 “Deadly clash in China: An ambush by Uighurs or a government massacre?

What happened in the dead of night on a desolate road near a desert oasis in northwestern China is so shrouded in mystery that it would seem that nearly everybody who witnessed it took an oath of silence — or is dead. … Rebiya Kadeer, head of the World Uyghur Conference, said in an interview with Radio Free Asia that her group had information that 2,000 to 3,000 people were killed. "We have evidence in hand that at least 2,000 Uighurs in the neighborhood of Ailixihu township have been killed by Chinese security forces on the first day and they 'cleaned up' the dead bodies on the second and third day during a curfew that was imposed," Kadeer told the news service.

KOREA TIMES

Aug. 7 “Moscow to send business delegation to Pyongyang

Russia plans to send a business delegation to North Korea this autumn, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA) Thursday.

BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK (Also in PUBLIC RADIO INTERNATIONAL)

Aug. 6 “Xinjiang Chief Signals New Curbs on Births for Minorities

China plans to adopt the same family planning policies for all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, the western province’s Communist Party chief wrote in an essay, signaling further curbs for the Uighur Muslim minority. … Uighurs are supposed to be exempt from China’s one-child policy. Yet under the policy, four Uighur women in Hotan prefecture in Xinjiang were forced to undergo forced abortions, Radio Free Asia reported in December.

ASIA RADIO TODAY

Aug. 6 “Just Myanmar, North Korea still listen on shortwave – BBG

The US will only continue shortwave services for Voice of America and Radio Free Asia in markets where there is a critical need for it, according to a new paper.

FOREIGN POLICY

Aug. 5 “In One Xinjiang City, Beards and Muslim Headscarves Banned from Buses

A city in China's remote western Xinjiang region has temporarily banned men with beards and women with Muslim headscarves from taking public buses. … Last year, an official with the government-affiliated Islamic Association in eastern Xinjiang's Turfan city, Abdurehim Damaolla, was stabbed after evening prayers in front of his house. Radio Free Asia quoted Turfan locals who spoke on condition of anonymity that Damaolla had helped police track down terror suspects. Both attacks have reinforced the dangerous possibility of deadly reprisals from separatists.

YONHAP (Also in KOREA HERALD)

Aug. 5 “N. Korea may host int'l golf contest on Mount Kumgang next year”

North Korea may host an international golf tournament on Mount Kumgang next year, a move to vex South Korean investors, according to a news report Tuesday. This year's North Korea Golf Open took place at the Pyongyang Golf Complex on the outskirts of the capital city on July 28-29 in a yearly event that has been sponsored by Britain's Lupine Travel since 2011, reported the Radio Free Asia (RFA).

TIME (Also in ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Aug. 4 “China Now Says Almost 100 Were Killed in Xinjiang Violence

It took a week, but authorities have finally released a death toll for the violence that rocked China’s far northwestern frontier on July 28. … Other groups paint a strikingly different picture. An early report by Uighur-speaking Radio Free Asia reporters Shohret Hoshur and Eset Sulaiman said the uprising was linked to restrictions during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the alleged extrajudicial killing of a Uighur family.

KOREA TIMES (Also in KOREA BIZWIRE)

Aug. 1 “North Koreans increasingly access KaKaoTalk: RFA

Mobile app KaKaoTalk has become the latest element of South Korean culture to penetrate the isolated North, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported Friday. RFA quoted a 30-something North Korean defector as saying that North Korean authorities are patrolling the border with China in search of people using the app.

DAILY NK

Aug. 1 “Yangkang Province Bridge Collapse Claims 50 Lives”

A recent bridge collapse in North Korea has left 50 women dead, Radio Free Asia [RFA] reported citing an inside source from ASIAPRESS on July 31st.

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