(Washington, DC — July 1, 2015) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in June:
RFA Reports on detention of Chinese citizen journalists for online writings
June 29 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on activists being detained for their contributions to a whistle-blowing website. One woman was arrested after posting a denunciation of local police officers who had interrogated her 13-year-old son.
RFA Reports on Lao elite implicated in illegal timber smuggling
June 29 – RFA Laos aired story [text in English/Laos] on family members of Lao officials routinely smuggling luxury rosewood across the country’s northern border into China. When bribed, local authorities allow the smuggling.
RFA Reports on Hong Kong student leader being attacked in the street
June 29 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on Umbrella Movement student leader Joshua Wong and his girlfriend being assaulted in the street by an unknown assailant. The attack came ahead of a planned mass demonstration to mark the anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule.
RFA Reports on Hun Sen supporting restrictive NGO draft law
June 29 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen supporting a controversial NGO draft law. NGOs and rights groups say the draft law would restrict their ability to operate inside the country.
RFA Reports on secret wiretapping, executions of high-ranking North Korean officials
June 26 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on high-ranking North Korean officials abandoning their homes after a raft of recent executions and forced disappearances were found to be linked to secret wiretappings. Regime leader Kim Jong Un said in response, “If they are clean, why do they fear being wiretapped?”
RFA Reports on Shanghai protests over planned PX plant
June 26 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on thousands of protesters taking to the streets of Shanghai to protest the proposed relocation of a paraxylene (PX) plant into the city’s Jinshan district, already home to a chemical industrial park. The protests continued in spite of intensive propaganda activities on the part of the government to discourage them.
RFA Reports on Uyghur woman dying in police custody
June 26 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on a young Uyghur woman dying in Chinese police custody after being detained while attempting to flee the country. The woman, who had hoped to join her husband in Turkey, was described as healthy before being taken into custody.
RFA Reports on Cambodia addressing Montagnard refugee issue
June 26 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on a Cambodian official addressing an appeal by an international human rights group not to deport ethnic Montagnard Christians. The Montagnards have fled to Cambodia from Vietnam, where they face continual discrimination and abuse.
RFA Reports on clashes between police and Chinese Muslim minority
June 26 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on nine people being injured in a clash between the Muslim Hui ethnic group and security personnel. The violence came after authorities moved to demolish thousands of the community’s tombs.
RFA Reports on Myanmar monks’ plans to set up Buddhist radio station
June 26 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on a group of nationalist Buddhist monks planning to set up a radio station to promote their religion. It is feared that they will use it as a platform to foment anti-Muslim sentiment in Myanmar.
RFA Reports on Myanmar parliament failing to amend constitution
June 25 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on Myanmar’s parliament failing to pass amendments to the country’s 2008 junta-drafted constitution that would have removed the military’s effective veto on legislative reform. At present, 25% of parliament’s seats are reserved for the military, and more than 75% of parliament must approve of proposed charter changes.
RFA Reports on detention of Cambodian environmental activists
June 25 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodian authorities detaining a group of protesters raising concerns over a sand dredging project with potentially harmful environmental impact. Community activists say the dredging has negatively affected the local environment, biodiversity, and fisheries.
RFA Reports on plainclothes police beating Vietnamese land-grab victims
June 25 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on plainclothes police allegedly beating a group of activists and land-grab victims. The group was on their way home from meeting one of their colleagues who was recently released from prison when they were suddenly outnumbered and attacked.
RFA Reports on Cambodian villagers protecting land from Chinese developers
June 24 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodian villagers blocking a Chinese concession holder from clearing land they say was reserved for cattle grazing. The villagers confronted bulldozers that had arrived to clear the land, forcing them to leave.
RFA Reports on tightened restrictions for Uyghurs during Muslim holy month
June 24 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese authorities urging that a “close watch” be kept on Muslim Uyghurs during the fasting month of Ramadan. County directives called for intrusive searches of stores and mosques, and Uyghurs being “forced to eat and drink” at mandatory meetings.
RFA Reports on death of 18 Uyghurs in Ramadan attack
June 23 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on at least 18 people dying following a knife and bomb attack by a group of ethnic Uyghurs on a police traffic checkpoint. The violent incident came as harsh restrictions were put in place on observance of the Muslim Ramadan holiday.
RFA Reports on Tibetans defiantly celebrating Dalai Lama’s birthday
June 22 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Tibetan monks and laypeople defying Chinese bans and threats of punishment by openly celebrating the 80th birthday of the Dalai Lama. Chinese authorities tightened security in advance of the event and blocked public gatherings that could be linked to it.
RFA Reports on Lao villagers offered meager compensation for land
June 22 – RFA Laos aired story [text in English/Laos] on Lao villagers facing threat of detention if they do not accept compensation to vacate their land. Refusing families say the offered compensation is a mere 10 percent of the land’s market value.
RFA Reports on dog slaughter continuing in spite of protests
June 22 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on thousands of dogs being slaughtered as part of a dog-meat eating festival in China. The festival continued in spite of a global campaign to end the practice and save the dogs.
RFA Reports on Chinese authorities killing eight Uyghur ‘suspects’
June 19 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on authorities in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region killing at least eight ethnic minority Uyghur “suspects” after a herdsman raised an alarm over “suspicious” strangers gathered by a local riverbed. The group had congregated on June 10 at a river valley in Hotan prefecture’s Guma county when Chinese security forces surrounded and attacked them.
RFA Reports on Hong Kong pan-democrats rejecting Beijing election plan
June 18 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on Hong Kong lawmakers voting down a controversial electoral reform plan in a humiliating defeat for the government’s Beijing-backed plan. The bill would have allowed all of Hong Kong’s five million eligible voters to vote in 2017, but would have limited eligible candidates to those approved by Beijing.
RFA Reports on trafficked Cambodians returning home
June 18 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodian victims of human trafficking returning home after enduring years of hardship aboard Thai fishing boats. Cambodians and other migrants are lured to work in the fishing industry by promises of well-paid jobs, but instead find themselves enduring slave-like conditions with little compensation if any.
RFA Reports on Kachin cease-fire failing
June 16 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on new clashes between an armed ethnic Kachin group and government soldiers as a cease-fire between the two groups was shattered. The fighting has forced more than 1,000 people in the region into camps.
RFA Reports on Rohingya Muslims receiving green cards
June 15 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on the Myanmar government issuing green cards to minority Muslims, including Rohingya, to verify their identities and potentially bring them closer to citizenship. Authorities had previously collected about 400,000 temporary “white card” IDs.
RFA Reports on violations of Vietnamese political prisoners’ rights
June 15 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on the Vietnamese government allegedly violating the human rights of Vietnamese political prisoners. Former political prisoner Truong Minh Tam spoke with RFA and described the squalid conditions he faced.
RFA Reports on China expelling unregistered Tibetan monks from monastery
June 12 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese authorities strictly limiting the number of monks allowed to study at a key monastery and pursuing suspects thought to have been involved in activities challenging Beijing’s rule. Government officials have expelled monks not officially enrolled at Nyatso Zilkar monastery and told them they cannot go to other monasteries to study.
RFA Reports on North Korea interrogating school children to find adult drug users
June 11 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North Korean authorities stepping up their surveillance of citizens believed to be drug users by interrogating their children in schools. The method is being redeployed after being discontinued by former leader Kim Jong Il.
RFA Reports on life sentence for former security czar
June 11 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on former Chinese security czar Zhou Yongkang receiving a life sentence on corruption charges. Zhou is the highest-ranking member of the Chinese Communist Party to be targeted in President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign.
RFA Reports on Cambodians demanding crackdown on illegal saw mills
June 10 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodian villagers calling on local forestry officials to crack down on illegal saw mills. The villagers warned commune authorities about three illegal mills in their area and subsequently faced death threats from the unsanctioned loggers.
RFA Reports on detention of ethnic Mongolians
June 10 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on Chinese police detaining at least 17 ethnic Mongolians following protests over the loss of their traditional grazing lands. Large tracts of grasslands have been lost to a Chinese-run forestry company in accordance with a so-called “restricted summer grazing policy.”
RFA Reports on forced labor of Uyghurs by Chinese
June 9 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese authorities ordering Uyghur farmers to take part in a forced labor scheme to prevent their involvement in “illegal activities.” In one particular prefecture, all men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 were required to take part in forced labor since January.
RFA Reports on Tiananmen anniversary selfie detention
June 9 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on an activist being arrested after taking a picture of himself at Tiananmen Square on the June 4 anniversary of the 1989 military crackdown. The man posted the image to Twitter.
RFA Reports on joint Laos-China high-speed railway
June 5 – RFA Laos aired story [text in English/Laos] on Laos setting up a joint company with China to oversee the construction and financing of a multibillion-dollar high-speed railway project. The railway project will link the two neighboring countries and is expected to cost about $7 billion.
RFA Reports on Tiananmen anniversary arrests
June 5 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on Chinese authorities jailing activists for their online comments and activities linked to the June 4 anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Authorities also cracked down on covert forms of protest such as the transfer of small amounts of money containing the numbers 6 and 4 - numbers often used to refer to the Tiananmen anniversary date (June 4).
RFA Reports oI n North Koreans evading television censors
June 5 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on ordinary North Koreans watching banned South Korean programs via compact electronic devices. Pyongyang authorities have responded by censoring small unregistered televisions and laptops in individual households.
RFA Reports on death threats arising from Cambodia-Vietnam border dispute
June 4 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Vietnamese guards allegedly threatening to shoot and kill a group of Cambodian political opposition party officials and villagers. The group was inspecting disputed border territory when they say they were threatened.
RFA Reports on banning of Myanmar journalists from parliament
June 4 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on journalists protesting a ban on their entering parliament after pictures of lawmakers sleeping during a session were published online. Pictures of lawmakers in military uniform sleeping or pushing a vote button for absent colleagues had angered and embarrassed MPs.
RFA Reports on detention of Tibetans protesting land seizure
June 3 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese police detaining at least 10 Tibetans protesting construction work on disputed land. The protest followed the arrival of heavy construction equipment brought in to construct a road on a site owned by Tibetans.
RFA Reports on ‘savage’ beating of Vietnamese activist
June 2 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnamese authorities “savagely” beating a civil society activist. The prominent blogger recognized the plainclothes officers as the same men who regularly monitor her home.