(Washington, DC — May 1, 2015) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in April:
RFA Reports on China denying ‘seriously ill’ ethnic Mongolian dissident a passport
April 30 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on Chinese authorities in Inner Mongolia refusing to issue passports to ethnic Mongolian dissident Hada and his son. Hada, who claims to be seriously ill, had wanted to travel overseas to seek medical attention. He has called on the United Nations and international community for help.
RFA Reports on Myanmar considering inclusion of warring ethnic groups in peace talks
April 30 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on Myanmar considering the inclusion of three ethnic armies currently fighting government troops in talks to sign a nationwide cease-fire agreement (NCA). The government has said it wants an NCA in place before national parliamentary elections to be held later this year.
RFA Reports on Chinese police detaining dozens in dawn raid on activist’s home
April 29 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on authorities raiding an activist’s home at dawn, detaining dozens. The activists had been planning a ceremony to commemorate the execution of a Mao-era political dissident.
RFA Reports on public execution in Pyongyang
April 29 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on the director general of North Korea's Unhasu Orchestra and three members of the troupe being stripped naked and publically executed with machine guns in Pyongyang. The director general of the art troupe was shot along with a woman and two lower-level government officials.
RFA Reports on Hun Sen seeking fifth term as Cambodia’s Prime Minister
April 29 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Prime Minister Hun Sen announcing he would seek a fifth term as prime minister of Cambodia. Hun Sen, in his remarks, also threatened an opposition politician, warning that the “culture of dialogue [between parties] might be halted.”
RFA Reports on death of Uyghur boy in Thailand
April 29 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on questions remaining over the circumstances leading to the death of a 3-year-old ethnic Uyghur boy in custody in Thailand. Some 370 other Uyghur refugees from China have been detained there for more than a year.
RFA Reports on villagers fleeing fighting in western Myanmar
April 28 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on several hundred people fleeing a village in a western Myanmar state to escape a rare case of local fighting between government troops and an armed ethnic group, as a United Nations agency moved in to provide aid to the refugees.
RFA Reports on Cambodian villagers marching in protest over land dispute
April 28 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodian residents marching to request foreign support in a decade-old land dispute pitting the villagers against the wife of a powerful government minister. Around 50 villagers presented petitions to the U.S. and European Union embassies, among others.
RFA Reports on North Korea increasing circulation of state newspaper
April 27 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on Kim Jong Un ordering the quality and content of a state newspaper to be improved and its circulation increased so it can serve as a public media ideological training tool. According to Kim Jong Un’s order, North Korea has recently increased the circulation of North Korea’s main national daily from 300,000 to 600,000.
RFA Reports on Thailand deporting dozens of Cambodians jailed for illegal logging
April 27 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Thai authorities deporting 54 Cambodians jailed for illegal logging. The deportations are part of the Thai government’s efforts to reduce the number of deadly confrontations between the loggers and Thai soldiers.
RFA Reports on Hong Kong student leaders anticipating more pro-democracy protests
April 27 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on Hong Kong student protest leaders predicting more pro-democracy demonstrations should a proposed bill limiting popular suffrage pass. One leader told RFA that “there will be an explosion of anger if the proposal is passed.”
RFA Reports on Lao teachers going unpaid
April 27 – RFA Laos aired story [text in English/Lao] on Lao primary and high school teachers going unpaid for three months. Disgruntled teachers are urging the central government to issue their salaries.
RFA Reports on Chinese police shooting unarmed Uyghur man
RFA Reports on Chinese authorities pressuring Uyghur-Canadian to spy
April 24 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on a Canadian national of Uyghur ethnicity saying he was harshly interrogated and pressured to spy on the Uyghur community while on a trip to visit relatives in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Erkin Qurban told authorities that he had helped to organize a reception for the exile World Uyghur Congress in 2008, but maintained that China had no right to detain him as a Canadian national.
RFA Reports on brick-wielding ‘security personnel’ attacking Vietnamese blogger
April 22 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on a trio of plainclothes policemen in Vietnam’s capital savagely attacking prominent blogger Trinh Anh Tuan, sending him to the hospital for treatment. The blogger said that his attackers were among a group of men who had been observing his home for a month.
RFA Reports on Laos pressuring groups to omit rights issues at ASEAN forum
April 22 – RFA Laos aired story [text in English/Lao] on Laos pressuring Lao civil society organizations to omit key concerns from a list of regional human rights issues being discussed on the sidelines of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit. The groups fear retribution for criticizing government policy on land rights and environmental issues, among other topics.
RFA Reports on Chinese feminists lodging complaint over detention treatment
April 22 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on two Chinese feminists planning to lodge a formal complaint over alleged mistreatment during their 37-day incarceration. The women were arrested as they planned a public sexual harassment campaign prior to International Women’s Day.
RFA Reports on Tibetan villagers blocking highway construction in protest
April 21 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Tibetan villagers protesting the proposed extension of a Chinese-built highway into nomadic grazing areas. The protesters blocked earth-moving equipment with their bodies and demanded that the work be stopped.
RFA Reports on Cambodian opposition leader urging Khmer Rouge prosecutions
April 17 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on the 40th anniversary of the day that the communist Khmer Rouge entered the Cambodian capital. Opposition politician Sam Rainsy presided over the ceremony and called for continued prosecutions of former Khmer Rouge members.
RFA Reports on North Korea ordering overseas workers to hide rights abuses
April 17 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North Korean authorities ordering North Korean workers abroad not to disclose human rights abuses in workplaces. New guidelines were sent to North Korean workers abroad by authorities in response to the passage of a UN resolution on North Korean human rights at the end of last year.
RFA Reports on China jailing Gao Yu for seven years for ‘leaking state secrets’
April 17 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on a Beijing court handing a seven-year jail term to veteran Chinese journalist Gao Yu after finding her guilty of "leaking state secrets overseas.” The sentencing of the 71-year-old political reporter is widely viewed as a chilling warning to other Chinese journalists and bloggers.
RFA Reports on Tibetan man dying in second self-immolation protest in April
April 16 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on a Tibetan man burning himself to death in protest against China’s rule in Tibetan areas. This was the second self-immolation protest in one month.
RFA Reports on 16 Myanmar army soldiers dying in battle with Kokang insurgents
April 16 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on 16 Myanmar soldiers dying and 110 being wounded during a major offensive against ethnic Kokang insurgents near the Chinese border. Hundreds of soldiers on both sides have been killed in the conflict, and tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced.
RFA Reports on rare pollution protest in Vietnam
April 15 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on thousands of protesting villagers in a southeastern Vietnamese village blocking a highway after dust from a nearby power plant covered their homes. The protesters said their entire village was covered with dust from the Vinh Tan 2 coal-fired power plant, sparking fears about health effects of the pollution.
RFA Reports on Karmapa saying question of reincarnation, successor up to Dalai Lama
April 15 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on a high-ranking Tibetan lama telling RFA that the Dalai Lama is the only one who can decide the matter of his reincarnation. The stance is an effective rejection of China's insistence that the communist rulers of Beijing have the authority to select the next leader of Tibetan Buddhism.
RFA Reports on thousands rioting after coking plant leak
April 14 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on thousands of angry protesters taking to the streets of Neijiang city in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan amid growing anger over toxic gas leaking from a nearby coking plant.
RFA Reports on Cambodia freeing opposition party members, land activists
April 13 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on five Cambodian opposition party activists, three monks and 10 land-rights activists being granted amnesty after being detained. Some viewed the arrest and subsequent release as a political gimmick and the result of negotiations between Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition leader Sam Rainsy.
RFA Reports on Cambodia’s military police torturing villagers
April 10 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodia’s National Military Police Department suspending six officers who allegedly shot at and tortured four villagers. The alleged incident occurred after the villagers tried to avoid paying a fee for driving an overloaded vehicle.
RFA Reports on China deploying new Internet censorship weapon
April 10 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on China using a powerful new weapon to control what its users see online. Chinese web censors have added the "Great Cannon" to its existing arsenal of Internet blocks, filters, and human censorship known collectively as the Great Firewall.
RFA Reports on burning protest of Tibetan nun
April 10 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on the self-immolation protest death of a 47-year-old Tibetan nun in China's Sichuan province. Yeshi Khando, a nun at Chokri Ngagong nunnery in the Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Region, is the 138th Tibetan since 2009 to stage a self-immolation protest against Beijing’s rule.
RFA Reports on armed guards evicting residents from a Cambodian village
April 9 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on armed guards evicting residents from their homes in a village in Cambodia’s Kratie province. Some evicted occupants’ homes were torched and bulldozed.
RFA Reports on secret jailing of Tibetan writer
April 8 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on a secretly detained prominent Tibetan writer who is believed to be held in a detention center. Druklo, who goes by the pen name Shokjang, was secretly detained on March 19.
RFA Reports on Uyghur religious scholar jailed nine years for ‘refusing to cooperate’ with authorities
April 8 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on a prominent ethnic Uyghur Muslim religious scholar being sentenced to nine years behind bars for “refusing to cooperate” with Chinese authorities. He was among 17 people charged with “various crimes related to state security.”
RFA Reports on dozens being held after pollution protests in Inner Mongolia
April 6 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on police in China's northern Inner Mongolia region holding dozens of people after firing tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets at crowds protesting alleged chemical pollution. The protests lasted three weeks.
RFA Reports on vast overstatement of cost of Lao road project led by PM’s son
April 6 – RFA Laos aired story [text in English/Lao] on a road upgrade scheme in Vientiane led by the son of Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong being expected to cost four times more than similar projects. The road will cost an estimated U.S. $80 million to upgrade.
RFA Reports on Myanmar authorities increasing collection of Rohingya ID cards
April 6 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on Myanmar authorities collecting about 40,000 temporary identification cards from displaced and stateless Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state. The white cards are necessary when applying for citizenship.
RFA Reports on Myanmar villagers turning back Chinese nationals after border encroachment
April 3 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on a group of 20 Chinese nationals being turned away by hundreds of angry villagers in northeastern Myanmar. The Chinese had crossed the China-Myanmar border as they attempted to plant a flag declaring the area to be Chinese territory.
RFA Reports on Chinese authorities demolishing home of Uyghur supporting Quranic studies
April 1 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese authorities demolishing the home of an ethnic Uyghur Muslim family that had served as an underground school for Quranic studies. Officials ordered some 500 local villagers to watch as workers tore down the home to set an example for those who support unofficial religious studies.