(Washington, DC — Feb. 1, 2015) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in January:
RFA Reports on Cambodian infant among casualties in mass HIV infection
Jan. 30 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on a 7-month-old girl who was the latest victim of Cambodia’s mass HIV infections in a western village where an unauthorized medical worker reused syringes. The infant was the first to die of 16 members from an extended family of 50 who contracted the deadly AIDS virus.
RFA Reports on security checkpoint clash leaving five dead in Uyghur region
Jan. 30 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on a clash at a checkpoint followed by a 48-hour manhunt leaving five people dead in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The incident began when three Uyghur teenagers failed to stop at a security checkpoint in the Hotan prefecture and then resisted police efforts to detain them.
RFA Reports on more Christian Montagnards fleeing Vietnam
Jan. 29 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on a new group of 18 asylum-seeking Montagnards from Vietnam taking refuge in the jungles of northeastern Cambodia’s Ratanakiri province. The Montagnards—Christian indigenous people from Vietnam’s Central Highlands—crossed the border into Cambodia on Jan. 28 from Vietnam’s Gia Lai province.
RFA Reports on Myanmar government willing to meet with protesting students
Jan. 28 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on the Myanmar government agreeing to hold four-party talks with student demonstrators to discuss controversial education reform legislation. The decision prompted students to suspend a cross-country protest march.
RFA Reports on shuttering of private Tibetan school
Jan. 28 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on authorities in northwestern China’s Qinghai province ordering a privately run Tibetan school to close. Citing the institution’s lack of official registration, they have said they will force pupils to attend a state-run school 20 miles away instead.
RFA Reports on differences delaying commission’s ruling on controversial Lao dam project
Jan. 28 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on differences among countries delaying a ruling whether the consultation period for the Don Sahong Dam in Laos has ended. Laos’s neighbors Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam called for an extension of the process.
RFA Reports on North Koreans bribing judges for quick divorces
Jan. 28 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on the increasing number of North Korean couples bribing judges to speed up the divorce process even though officials discourage the dissolution of marriages. Divorce is viewed as an element of social instability in North Korea.
RFA Reports on American-educated dissident Vietnamese journalist detained in Vietnam
Jan. 28 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnamese journalist and blogger Doan Trang returning to Vietnam from the United States and being detained by security forces for 15 hours at the airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Trang had studied public policy in the U.S.
RFA Reports on eight Tibetans detained for resisting eviction
Jan. 26 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese security forces evicting Tibetan families from new homes in an earthquake-hit region of western China’s Qinghai province. Occupants, including many who lost loved ones in the 2010 earthquake, could not afford the government housing estates.
RFA Reports on Chinese activist seeking asylum after escaping to Cambodia
Jan. 26 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on a prominent Chinese rights activist who escaped the country to be with her husband following a travel ban imposed by Chinese police. Liu Linna arrived in Cambodia, hoping to apply for political asylum in a third country.
RFA Reports on detention of Hong Kong journalist over church demolition reporting
Jan. 23 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on authorities in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang detaining and questioning a Hong Kong journalist who went to cover a story about the demolition of church crosses in the region. Hundreds of Protestant churches in Zhejiang have been targeted for demolition in the past year.
RFA Reports on smuggling at North Korea border slowing due to kickbacks for guards
Jan. 23 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North Korean border guards’ demands for a greater share of profits from smuggling. The practice has slowed the movement of commodities to and from China, hurting North Koreans who rely on the trade of black market goods.
RFA Reports on Mongolian dissident denied ID card, bank account after interview
Jan. 23 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on authorities in Inner Mongolia freezing the bank account of ethnic Mongolian dissident Hada and refusing to issue him an official identification card. The veteran rights activist was released in poor health from extrajudicial detention in December, four years after his 15-year jail term for "separatism" and "espionage" ended.
RFA Reports on luxury home building by Lao leaders raising eyebrows among citizens
Jan. 23 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on top Lao politicians building high-priced luxury homes in the impoverished one-party communist country. The construction has raised questions among Lao citizens about officials’ and their families’ personal wealth and resources.
RFA Reports on jailed Myanmar Muslim activist getting amnesty
Jan. 23 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on a Muslim community leader in Myanmar being granted amnesty from a lengthy jail sentence stemming from a 2012 outbreak of communal violence between Muslims and Buddhists. Rohingya leader Tun Aung’s case was taken up by international activists and officials, including U.S. Congressman Aaron Schock.
RFA Reports on Uyghur refugees going on hunger strike in Thai detention center
Jan. 22 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on more than 100 Uyghur refugees held in a southern Thailand prison starting a hunger strike in protest of the facility’s deplorable living conditions. The refugee detainees have no beds or restrooms at the government-run center.
RFA Reports on new Vietnamese cardinal hoping to improve Vatican ties
Jan. 22 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on newly selected cardinal of Vietnam’s Roman Catholic community archbishop Pierre Nguyen saying that he faced a challenging task to improve ties between the Vatican and Vietnam.
RFA Reports on Chinese men outnumbering women by 33 million after decades of gender bias
Jan. 22 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on China being home to 33 million more men than women in 2014. The figures, released by the Chinese government, renew a long-running controversy over selective abortion, abandoned baby girls, and the country's one-child policy.
RFA Reports on Myanmar ethnic minority leader casting doubts on cease-fire
Jan. 21 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on armed ethnic Kachin rebel group leader General Gum Maw saying the imminent signing of a nationwide cease-fire and peace agreement is impossible. The statement comes despite President Thein Sein’s claims that such a deal is within reach.
RFA Reports on UN envoy calling on Cambodia’s parties to honor agreement
Jan. 20 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on a United Nations envoy urging Cambodia’s opposition party and Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party to adhere to the terms of a pact they forged last summer to end political deadlock.
RFA Reports on wife of missing Lao civil society leader lamenting lack of progress
Jan. 20 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on prominent missing Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone’s wife calling for Lao authorities to accept international assistance in the search for her husband and establish an independent investigative commission.
RFA Reports on renewed talk of Hong Kong subversion law sparking controversy
Jan. 20 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on Hong Kong lawmakers criticizing renewed proposals for controversial anti-subversion legislation in the semiautonomous Chinese city. The legislation was originally proposed in 2003 but then shelved.
RFA Reports on Chinese police killing two Uyghurs near China-Vietnam border
Jan. 19 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese authorities in the southwestern region of Guangxi killing two ethnic minority Uyghurs. The Uyghurs were trying to cross the border into neighboring Vietnam.
RFA Reports on monks protesting UN call for rights for Myanmar’s Muslim minority
Jan. 16 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on hundreds of monks and nuns protesting against a United Nations envoy’s call for the Myanmar government to uphold the rights of a persecuted Muslim minority group. The crowd denounced Yanghee Lee, the U.N.’s human rights envoy for Myanmar, for her request to Rakhine authorities to heed the plight of Rohingya Muslims.
RFA Reports on North Korean coal exports to China hitting a snag
Jan. 16 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North Korea’s export of coal to China dropping off dramatically in the face of stricter Chinese air pollution curbs and energy shortages in the dictatorship.
RFA Reports on Tibetan youth freed after being held for ‘politically sensitive’ photos
Jan. 14 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese authorities in Tibet freeing a Tibetan youth after detaining him for almost three weeks. His detention came with the discovery of politically sensitive content, including the Dalai Lama’s image, on his cell phone.
RFA Reports on North Korea issuing lighter gear for hunger-stricken soldiers
Jan. 14 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on the issuing of lighter packs and equipment for North Korean soldiers. The move is an apparent bid to ease loads carried by troops weakened by malnutrition.
RFA Reports on pan-democrats staging protest as Hong Kong’s leader warns of anarchy
Jan. 14 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on Hong Kong pan-democratic lawmakers walking out of the chamber ahead of an annual address by embattled chief executive Leung Chun-ying. Leung warned that the former British colony could descend into "anarchy" amid an ongoing civil disobedience campaign for fully democratic elections.
RFA Reports on Cambodia’s Hun Sen’s defiance toward critics after 30 years in power
Jan. 14 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen marking his 30th year in power. In his commemoration statement, Hun Sen slammed detractors who say he has maintained control of the country through political manipulation and an iron rule.
RFA Reports on Mongolian herders traveling to Beijing amid grassland dispute with army
Jan. 13 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on dozens of herders from China's Inner Mongolia region converging on Beijing to lodge a complaint with the government over a land grab. The ethnic Mongolian herders say they were forced in 2011 to move from traditional grazing lands by China's People's Liberation Army.
RFA Reports on China shuttering ‘illegal’ websites, vowing to step up real-name registration
Jan. 13 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on China's Internet regulator stepping up enforcement of real-name registration rules across all Internet services. The regulator shuttered dozens of websites and chat accounts for posting "illegal" content.
RFA Reports on ‘violence, corruption’ marking Cambodia’s Hun Sen rule
Jan. 13 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on the characterization in a report of Hun Sen’s 30-year rule as Cambodia’s prime minister being marked by intimidation and political manipulation. Human Rights Watch, a U.S.-based rights group, issued the report, calling on donors and the international community to press for strengthened democratic reforms in the country.
RFA Reports on firebombing of Hong Kong media mogul’s home
Jan. 12 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on arson attacks against the home and newspaper offices of Hong Kong pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai. The incidents have sparked renewed fears for press freedom in the semiautonomous Chinese city following a string of violent attacks on outspoken media figures in recent years.
RFA Reports on police killing six Uyghurs allegedly carrying explosives
RFA Reports on Tibetans ending protest march over exam scandal
Jan. 9 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on over a hundred Tibetan students and their parents being forced to end their march in China’s Gansu province. The Tibetans were protesting officials’ manipulation of grades in exams aimed at helping university graduates land government jobs.
RFA Reports on Myanmar’s first Cardinal calling for meeting of country’s religious leaders
Jan. 7 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on Charles Maung Bo, Myanmar’s first Catholic cardinal, calling for the country’s top religious leaders to hold a dialogue aimed at ending sectarian violence in the country. Bo said the country’s heads of faith were key to controlling religious conflict in Myanmar, including Buddhist-Muslim violence that has left at least 240 dead since 2012.
RFA Reports on nearly 70 Tibetans detained following clash over forced vote
Jan. 7 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on nearly 70 Tibetans being taken into custody by Chinese security forces in Qinghai province. The detentions followed clashes with officials who had attempted to force villagers to vote for state-backed candidates in local elections.
RFA Reports on tortured Guangzhou activist refusing food in detention center
Jan. 7 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on the hunger strike of a Guangzhou-based rights activist who was tried last year on public order charges in the southern Chinese city. The activist alleged he was subjected to torture while in police detention.
RFA Reports on four Tibetans severely beaten for refusing to sell land
Jan. 7 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on police in western China’s Sichuan province attacking and beating members of a Tibetan farming family, leaving one in critical condition. The incident came after the group protested authorities’ efforts to force the sale of their land for construction of police barracks.
RFA Reports on China warning veteran democracy activists in crackdown
Jan. 1 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on authorities in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang renewing their crackdown on veteran dissidents. Two activists of the China Democracy Party, a banned opposition party, were detained in Zhejiang's capital city, Hangzhou, on suspicion of "incitement to subvert state power."