RFA Reports (January 2017)

2017-02-13
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(Washington, DC — Feb. 1, 2017) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in January:

RFA Reports on top Muslim official killed by gunman at Yangon Airport

Jan. 30 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Ko Ni, a Muslim human rights lawyer and advisor to Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was shot dead at Yangon Airport, prompting the country's president to issue an appeal for calm in the Buddhist-majority country and a call to remain watchful against agitation leading to religious disturbances.

RFA Reports on Cambodian activists skipping appeals hearing fearing re-arrest

Jan. 30 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on three Cambodian environmental activists skipping an appeals court hearing they had earlier requested, due to government intimidation and fear of arrest.

RFA Reports on North Korean authorities limiting market hours so citizens can shovel manure

Jan. 26 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North Korean authorities imposing limits on the operating hours of local markets nationwide to encourage residents to go the fields and collect manure to use as fertilizer in light of a shortage of chemical fertilizer.

RFA Reports on promotion of soldiers who beat Cambodian lawmakers

Jan. 26 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodia’s opposition party wanting the country’s defense minister to explain why three soldiers convicted of assaulting a pair of lawmakers recently won promotions, with one receiving the rank of brigadier general.

RFA Reports on Tibetan doctor being freed after beatings, torture

Jan. 25 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on a Tibetan doctor held by police for over a month in China’s Gansu province over suspected links to a self-immolation protest being released last week after suffering beatings and torture in detention.

RFA Reports on Lao province issuing banana ban over pollution concerns

Jan. 24 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on authorities in the northern Lao province of Bokeo suspending the operations of 18 Chinese-backed banana plantations after they discovered widespread violations of the regulations governing the use of agricultural chemicals.

RFA Reports on Vietnam hitting activist with Article 88 anti-state charge

Jan. 24 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnamese authorities arresting a human rights activist, sparking concern from the U.N. over Hanoi’s use of a section of the country’s criminal code to throttle dissent.

RFA Reports on Lao officials returning corruption money

Jan. 24 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on Lao government officials being found guilty of corruption charges, “voluntarily” returning to the government the money and assets they obtained through their illegal activities.

RFA Reports on Chinese ‘disappeared’ petitioners

Jan. 23 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on nine people who "disappeared" in a police operation that targeted rights activists in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

RFA Reports on destruction at Tibetan academy Larung Gar set to resume

Jan. 23 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on authorities’ decision to resume demolition at the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy situated in China’s Sichuan province sooner than previously reported, scheduling completion of reducing the center’s population by the end of March.

RFA Reports on China shoring up Great Firewall with new rules targeting VPNs

Jan. 23 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on China saying it will crack down in 2017 on the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) to get around the complex system of blocks, filters, and human censorship known as the “Great Firewall” that limits what its citizens can see online.

RFA Reports on Hong Kong media loss in independent stance

Jan. 20 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on Hong Kong's media last year "gave up its last defenses," making editorial independence in the city a thing of the past.

RFA Reports on Vietnamese authorities suppressing South China Sea demonstrations

Jan. 19 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnamese authorities fanning out across the country in what appeared to be a coordinated attempt to block people from marking the day the country lost disputed territory in the South China Sea 43 years ago.

RFA Reports on Tibetans in Chengdu calling for bilingual education for their children

Jan. 19 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Tibetan children living in the capital of southwest China’s Sichuan province being denied the right to an education in their own language.

RFA Reports on Myanmar military capturing key ethnic army command base in Kachin state

Jan. 19 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on the Myanmar military seizing a key command base and two others belonging to the ethnic Kachin Independence Army (KIA) as skirmishes continue between the two armies in Kachin state near the border with China with no apparent let-up in sight.

RFA Reports on Chinese Feminist 'Hooligan Sparrow' facing eviction

Jan. 18 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on Ye Haiyan—a Chinese artist, feminist, and subject of an award-winning documentary about her activism—facing eviction from her home in Beijing's Songzhuang artist village after she wrote an essay criticizing the Maoist left.

RFA Reports on U.N. rights envoy meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss volatile Rakhine state

Jan. 18 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on a U.N. human rights envoy’s private meeting with the country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw, to discuss the recent violence in volatile Rakhine state.

RFA Reports on China’s reining in smog warnings amid 'confusion' over pollution alerts

Jan. 18 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on China's meteorological bureau’s pending order to stop issuing smog warnings, sparking fears that the government may be getting ready to censor air pollution data centrally.

RFA Reports on rights groups calling on Myanmar for details about ‘disappeared’ Kachin Christians

Jan. 17 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on human rights group call on Myanmar authorities to provide information about two Kachin Christian leaders they fear have been forcibly “disappeared” in northern Shan state for taking reporters to a Catholic church allegedly damaged by airstrikes in clashes between the government army and ethnic guerillas.

RFA Reports on Xinjiang police enforcing registration on cutting tools

Jan. 13 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on authorities in an ethnic Uyghur county of northwest China’s Xinjiang region ordering that all tools used for cutting must be registered with police.

RFA Reports on Cambodian labor leader released in ‘fake accident’ case

Jan. 13 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on a labor organizer and local opposition party official accused of hitting a border police officer with his car last month being released on bond after a closed hearing before Cambodia’s appellate court.

RFA Reports on South Korean snacks and sauces in North Korean market despite ban

Jan. 12 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North Korean and Chinese traders defying prohibitions against the import of South Korean products into the communist-controlled country, bringing large quantities of South Korean-produced foodstuffs across the border after first covering boxes with Chinese markings.

RFA Reports on North Korean serious risk assessments with Trump

Jan. 12 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on diplomat-turned-scholar David Straub discussing the implications of Kim Jong Un’s calculated New Year message on the possible intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch.

RFA Reports on China turning back thousands of Myanmar refugees

Jan. 11 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on the forced return by Chinese authorities of 4,000 Myanmar refugees who attempted to flee across the border to safety in China after mortar shells fell in two internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Kachin state’s Waingmaw township, leaving them with nowhere to go in the conflict zone.

RFA Reports on 40 Vietnamese 'boat people' picked up off Taiwan’s coast

Jan. 10 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Taiwan authorities arresting 46 people when the coast guard seized a fishing boat off the country’s coast in what the coast guard said is its largest single bust of Vietnamese 'boat people' attempting to reach the island.

RFA Reports on four detained Inner Mongolian activists

Jan. 9 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on police in Chinese-ruled Inner Mongolia arresting four herdsmen for their role in an organized online petition signed by 500 herdsmen over promised but unpaid subsidies for stopping grazing on protected land.

RFA Reports on fish kill disaster in Vietnam failing to make government’s list

Jan. 6 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on a steel plant disaster that killed more than 100 tons of fish and rained economic devastation on Vietnam’s central coast being conspicuously absent from a list of 2016’s top environmental events last year by the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

RFA Reports on detained Burmese media CEO, editor

Jan. 6 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on a Myanmar court releasing the chief executive officer and editor-in-chief of the independent Eleven Media Group on bail of more than U.S. $37,000 each after the two were held for nearly two months on defamation charges.

RFA Reports on Chinese court sentencing pastor for ‘spying’

Jan. 6 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on authorities in southern China sentencing a pastor of an unofficial Protestant "house church" to two-and-a-half years in jail on spying charges.

RFA Reports on Uyghur diaspora leader condemning Istanbul shooting

Jan. 5 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Turkish officials saying the gunman who killed 39 people at an Istanbul nightclub was likely from China’s Muslim Uyghur minority. Rebiya Kadeer, a prominent leader of the Uyghur diaspora, voiced empathy with the Turks and gratitude for the country’s role as a haven for Uyghur refugees.

RFA Reports on Cambodian prisoners used as bargaining chips

Jan. 5 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on high-ranking officials with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) attempting to use four imprisoned human rights activists and a jailed election official as bargaining chips in their effort to split the opposition party.

RFA Reports on torture concerns for detained Chinese rights lawyer

Jan. 5 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on a prominent Chinese human rights lawyer held in an unknown location on suspicion of subversion at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

RFA Reports on China calling Dalai Lama’s Kalachakra ‘illegal’

Jan. 5 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on authorities in Tibetan-populated areas of southwestern China warning residents against involvement in a major Buddhist gathering in India led by exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, calling the gathering “illegal” and threatening punishment for those spreading news of the event or organizing local ceremonies in support.

RFA Reports on Lao-China railway’s impact on displaced families

Jan. 4 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on Lao-China Railway crew clearing the right-of-way in the ancient Lao city of Luang Prabang. Questions still linger regarding which country will get the bulk of the jobs for this $6 billion project, and how much people displaced by the construction will be paid.

RFA Reports on Uyghur government workers ordered not to identify on forms as Muslim

Jan. 4 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on ethnic Uyghur government workers in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region being ordered to remove the word “Islam” from a box indicating religious affiliation on their household registration forms, in a move aimed at further reducing cultural identity in the volatile region.

RFA Reports on Vietnamese activists seeing hope in new U.S. law

Jan. 3 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnamese activists expressing hope that a new law allowing the U.S. to sanction foreign governments for human rights violations and corruption will make Hanoi think twice before it cracks down on dissent.

RFA Reports on Cambodian evictees attempting to return home to Borei Keila

Jan. 3 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on more than two dozen residents forcibly evicted from their homes in the Borei Keila neighborhood in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh five years ago meeting the same fate when they attempted to reoccupy their old homes.

RFA Reports on officials, police descending on Beijing NGO as law takes effect

Jan. 2 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on authorities in Beijing cutting off utilities and destroying the central heating system of a prominent NGO set up to help migrant workers, as a new law came into effect placing foreign-funded NGOs effectively under police control.

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