(Washington, DC—September 1, 2009) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in August:
RFA Reports on U.S. urging restraint in Burma refugee situation
Aug. 31 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Washington voicing concerns over the safety of ethnic minorities and refugees as the Burmese military tightens control over its border regions. Fighting between Burmese government troops and an ethnic Chinese armed group known as the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) broke out last week in Burma’s Kokang region, causing tens of thousands of Burmese to seek refuge in China’s southern Yunnan province.
RFA Reports on Vietnamese lawyer defending accused dissidents
Aug. 31 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on the lawyer of five accused democracy activists in Vietnam defending their motives, as the government prepares to try them for anti-state activities. The former People’s Supreme Court judge asked by the men's families to defend them said in an interview with RFA that the accused are patriots.
RFA Reports on Vietnamese school rejecting HIV positive students
Aug. 28 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on a Vietnamese elementary school in Ho Chi Minh City sending more than a dozen children infected with HIV home after concerned parents of other children staged an angry protest at the school gates.
RFA Reports on delays of lead-poisoning testing of Chinese children
Aug. 26 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on Chinese citizens and local officials alleging that calls for government authorities to test children for lead poisoning are going unheeded in the wake of recent incidents of lead poisoning affecting thousands in the Hunan and Shaanxi provinces.
RFA Reports on China accused of seizing N. Korean defector footage
Aug. 24 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on human rights workers alleging that Chinese authorities seized video footage shot by the two U.S. journalists who were arrested by North Korea. The reporters, who were released after a high-profile visit by former U.S. President Bill Clinton to North Korea, were originally detained while investigating the plight of North Korean defectors in China.
RFA Reports on Tibetan Web surfer being detained
Aug. 24 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese authorities detaining a Tibetan youth in the regional capital of Lhasa for having viewed restricted political information online.
RFA Reports on Uyghur economist being released, warned
Aug. 24 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on authorities releasing a prominent Beijing-based economist and member of China’s Uyghur ethnic minority after being detained for one month. Ilham Tohti, a professor at Beijing’s Central Nationalities University, said after his release police warned that he could still be tried and executed, however.
RFA Reports on China’s overlooked homeless population
Aug. 21 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on homelessness remaining a problem in China’s cities. Many of China’s tens of thousands of homeless individuals are disabled and entitled to scant government aid.
RFA Reports on Kadeer family home slated for demolition
Aug. 20 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese authorities planning to demolish the family home of prominent Uyghur exile leader Rebiya Kadeer. Kadeer’s family has also been served with an eviction notice.
RFA Reports on Jong Il’s luxury homes
Aug. 17 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on Kim Jong Il’s lavish residencies and vacation homes. Google satellite images of the dwellings reveal private railway stations, lakes, and swimming pools.
RFA Reports on Senator Webb securing American’s release, meeting Suu Kyi
Aug. 15 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on U.S. Senator Jim Webb securing the release of American prisoner John Yettaw and meeting with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, currently under house arrest, during the senator’s recent visit to Burma.
RFA Reports on clashes over Sichuan quake trial
Aug. 13 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on the detention of relatives of schoolchildren killed in a devastating 2008 earthquake in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan. Authorities detained the relatives after they tried to attend the high-profile trial of writer Tan Zuoren, who was believed to be planning the release of an independent report on the school buildings that collapsed during the deadly quake.
RFA Reports on Cambodian court upholding publisher’s sentence
Aug. 12 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on a Cambodian appeals court upholding the prison sentence of a newspaper editor and publisher jailed for “disinformation” after he ran articles alleging high-level government corruption. Hang Chakra, former director of Khmer Machas Srok, was sentenced to a year in jail in June by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court and was fined 9 million riel (about 2,250 USD).
RFA Reports on outcry over Suu Kyi trial verdict
Aug. 11 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on a Burmese court sentencing opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to another 18 months under house arrest. The ruling ends hopes for clemency and immediately prompted an international outcry. Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent 14 of the last 20 years in detention, was convicted of breaching the terms of her detention after John Yettaw, a U.S. tourist, swam across the lake and stayed two nights at her home.
RFA Reports on Tibetan plague town reopening
Aug. 7 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on authorities easing the quarantine of Tsigorthang (in Chinese, “Ziketan”), in the Tsolho (in Chinese, “Hainan”) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of China’s western Qinghai province, after the deaths there of at least three Tibetan nomads from a rare lung plague.
RFA Reports on Chinese netizens’ postcard campaign intensifies
Aug. 5 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on Chinese netizens broadening a postcard campaign in support of high-profile prisoners of conscience. The move comes after the release of Fujian-based blogger Peter Guo Baofeng, known as the micro-blogger “amoiist” in July.
RFA Reports on Uyghur leader rejecting letters of accusation
Aug. 3 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on exiled Uyghur activist Rebiya Kadeer dismissing China’s claim that two of her children and her brother have written letters condemning her for allegedly masterminding deadly riots last month in Urumqi, capital of the northwestern Xinjiang region.