RFA Reports (August 2010)


(Washington, DC — Sept. 1, 2010) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in August:

RFA Reports on probe of Chinese activist’s attack

Aug. 31 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on a leading Chinese campaigner against academic fraud and fake remedies recovering from a brutal attack. Peng Jian, the legal representative of “science cop” Fang Zhouzi, said his client was recovering well after he was attacked by two men, one of whom sprayed anesthetic in his face while the other tried to beat him with a hammer in a Beijing alleyway.

RFA Reports on police firing on Tibetan mine protesters

Aug. 26 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on police in China’s southwestern Sichuan province using lethal force against a group of Tibetans protesting the expansion of a gold mining operation they say is harming the environment. At least four people were killed when police officers opened fire on a crowd outside the Palyul (in Chinese, Baiyu) county government offices in Sichuan’s Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous prefecture.

RFA Reports on debilitating floods in North Korea

Aug. 25 – RFA Korean aired story [English/Korean] on life returning to normal on the Chinese side of the Yalu River following the worst flooding in a century. But North Koreans reported on their side that Sinuiju city has disappeared up to the eaves under water.

RFA Reports on detentions ahead of Beijing tournament

Aug. 25 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on police in China’s capital removing a victim of the Tiananmen Square military crackdown from the city ahead of a high-profile sporting event. Qi Zhiyong, disabled due to injuries sustained when People’s Liberation Army troops suppressed the student-led pro-democracy movement on the night of June 3, 1989, said he had been detained and taken out of the city to an undisclosed location by police and security guards.

RFA Reports on worries among Vietnamese Catholic asylum seekers

Aug. 24 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on nearly 40 Vietnamese Catholics seeking asylum in Thailand fearing possible repatriation and persecution at the hands of the Vietnamese government. Members of the group, which fled violence in connection with a land dispute near Vietnam’s central Da Nang city, said they do not feel safe while they await the United Nations refugee agency’s decision on whether to grant them refugee status.

RFA Reports on Chinese activist’s detention

Aug. 19 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on the detention of a blogger and rights activist in Beijing. Wu Gan said he was rounded up by officials from his home province of Fujian, in China’s southeast, after a stay in Beijing in which he visited other activists and petitioners. Wu had recently advocated for a woman who claimed local officials had raped and murdered her daughter.

RFA Reports on accusations about Xinjiang police bombing

Aug. 19 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on growing suspicions that a deadly attack on a Chinese police auxiliary unit was provoked in part through ongoing harassment of ethnic minority Uyghurs in the area. The attack in Aksu city, in which a man riding a three-wheeled vehicle threw explosives at a group of uniformed patrolmen, killed seven people and wounded 14, according to wire service reports.

RFA Reports on authorities banning images of Tibetan religious figure

Aug. 17 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese authorities in Tibet restricting the display of photos of the Karmapa Lama, confiscating them from monks and warning drivers not to carry them in their vehicles.

RFA Reports on anger over shortages in Pyongyang

Aug. 17 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on former Pyongyang residents talking about the growing frustration among North Koreans over increases in food prices, perpetual shortages of food and daily necessities, and the collapse of the state-controlled food distribution system.

RFA Reports on calls for probe into possible tainted milk in China

Aug. 16 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on China’s health ministry denying any link between a wave of cases of premature sexual development in infant girls and a popular brand of milk powder. However, calls continue for an independent investigation into the milk powder.

RFA Reports on townspeople helping Tibetan monks evade arrest

Aug. 15 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Sichuan locals helping two Tibetan monks evade authorities and detention. The monks took to the streets of Lithang on Aug. 12, carrying the Tibetan national flag and a picture of the Dalai Lama, before police came to apprehend them.

RFA Reports on poll date announced in Burma

Aug. 14 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Burma’s ruling military junta setting the date of national elections for Nov. 7. This announcement comes amid widespread concern that the vote will be a farce. The polls will be the first since 1990, when National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide vote but was barred from taking power by the military.

RFA Reports on ban of popular Chinese comedian

Aug. 9 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on authorities in Beijing banning the work of popular stand-up comedian Guo Degang, with many Beijing shops pulling his tapes and books from their shelves, and online censors apparently blocking his website.

RFA Reports on Chinese travel ban for rights advocates, experts

Aug. 8 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on Chinese lawyers, academics, and rights activists saying authorities are increasingly targeting them through immigration controls, with a growing number of people prevented from leaving the country in recent months to attend overseas conferences and events.

RFA Reports on sentencing of Uyghur Web moderators

Aug. 8 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on a court in China sentencing three ethnic minority Uyghurs to life in jail for alleged separatist offenses. One of those handed a life term was Gulmire Imin, 32, who held a local government post and worked for the Uyghur-language Salkin website, which called for a demonstration on July 5, 2009.

RFA Reports on death threat on Cambodian author

Aug. 7 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on the author of a book deemed critical of the Cambodian government going into hiding after receiving an anonymous death threat. Pen Puthsphea, a journalist whose work is featured on the opposition Sam Rainsy Party Candlelight Radio program, received a telephone call on July 19 from a person who threatened him unless he quit his job.

RFA Reports on Chinese environmentalist honored

Aug. 3 – RFA aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on a pioneering environmental photographer who documented the pollution of China’s Huai River being awarded what is considered by many to be the Asian equivalent of the Nobel prize. Former news photographer Huo Daishan, 56, received one of the 2010 Ramon Magsaysay Awards—presented by the Philippines-based Ramon Magsaysay Foundation—for bringing to public and official attention the massive pollution of China’s third-largest river.

RFA Reports on Uyghur concerns over party meeting at mosque

Aug. 3 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on members of the Uyghur ethnic minority in northwest China expressing anger after a local Communist Party committee meeting at a place of worship.

RFA Reports on spread of Cantonese protests

Aug. 2 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on hundreds of protesters rallying in support of their native Cantonese dialect in both Hong Kong and Guangzhou. The protests came after a mainland Chinese political body called for cuts in Cantonese-language broadcasts, sparking fears that Cantonese culture is being limited by Beijing.

RFA Reports on China stepping up Web controls in Tibet

Aug. 2 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on Chinese authorities in the Tibet Autonomous Region ordering Internet cafes there to finish installing state-of-the-art surveillance systems by the end of August. The proprietor of an Internet cafe in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, which is still under tight security following widespread Tibetan unrest beginning in March 2008, confirmed the plan is already in full swing.

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