(Washington, DC—July 1, 2009) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in June:
RFA Reports on sentencing of Cambodian editor
June 30 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on the editor of a Khmer opposition newspaper being sentenced in absentia to a year in prison for allegedly spreading “disinformation” after publishing a series of articles accusing a senior official of corruption.
RFA Reports on China putting off Green Dam plans
June 30 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on China announcing an indefinite delay of requiring computer makers to pre-install controversial Internet filtering software on all new computers sold in China. The Green Dam Youth Escort software program, which the government said aimed to shield Chinese youths from online pornography, sparked an outcry inside China and around the world, along with charges that the software’s true intent was blocking content Beijing deemed subversive.
RFA Reports on rumor fueling Chinese ethnic factory riot
June 28 – RFA Cantonese, Mandarin, and Uyghur aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin/Uyghur] on authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong saying they have found no evidence supporting a rumor that ethnic minority Uyghur laborers raped two Chinese girls – an accusation blamed for sparking ethnic fighting at a toy factory in Shaoguan city. According to China’s official media reports, police have also detained a former worker at the city’s Xuri toy factory for posting the online rumor.
RFA Reports on food crisis hitting North Korea
June 25 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North Korean families feeling the pinch after Pyongyang's refusal of U.S. food aid earlier this year. The United Nations is saying it already sees a humanitarian crisis beginning to unfold in the isolated Stalinist state.
RFA Reports on tearing down of satellite dishes in Tibetan regions
June 21 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese authorities removing satellite dishes in a Tibetan-populated region of China in an effort to block access to foreign broadcasts, according to Tibetan sources. Tibetan-language broadcasts by Radio Free Asia and Voice of America appear to be targets of the campaign.
RFA Reports on Uyghurs held in clampdown
June 19 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on authorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, home to the mostly Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority, detaining a number of youths in an anti-separatism campaign ahead of the sensitive 60th anniversary of communist rule.
RFA Reports on possibility of S. Korean businesses quitting zone
June 19 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on South Korean business leaders saying they are considering pulling out of a joint economic zone on North Korean territory amid worsening ties and increased economic demands from Pyongyang. South Korea began limiting the numbers of its citizens allowed to cross the border into the Kaesong Industrial Zone following North Korea's April 6 rocket launch.
RFA Reports on N. Korea aiding in Burmese tunnel construction
June 18 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on the strong likelihood that Burma's military regime is completing construction of an underground tunnel system with aid from North Korea in exchange for food and other materials, according to a Swedish journalist based in Bangkok.
RFA Reports on WHO adjusting pandemic-alert for H1N1 in Asia
June 15 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on a leading expert in emerging infectious diseases lashing out at the World Health Organization (WHO) for under-reporting the pandemic’s alert level. Critics have accused the Geneva-based organization of caving in to political pressure as Asian countries prepare to deal with the spread of the disease.
RFA Reports on arrest Vietnamese human rights lawyer
June 15 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on international groups and the U.S. government voicing concerns over Vietnam’s arrest of human rights lawyer Le Cong Dinh, saying the action by Vietnamese officials contradicted Hanoi’s commitment to human rights. “Vietnamese officials have stated that Dinh was arrested because of his defense of pro-democracy activists and his use of the Internet to express his views,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said in a statement.
RFA Reports on transfer of Uyghurs held at Guantanamo
June 11 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on the United States transferring four ethnic Uyghur detainees from U.S. detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay to Bermuda. The detainees, who have been held more than seven years at the U.S. Navy detention center, have already arrived in Bermuda, Uyghur sources said and the U.S. Justice Department confirmed.
RFA Reports on arrests of Tibetans after march
June 10 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese authorities in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, detaining six Tibetans following protests. The detentions came after more than 100 Tibetans gathered and marched in what was described to police as an exercise of their right to practice Tibetan Buddhism, sources said.
RFA Reports on first Chinese gay pride fest
June 9 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on China’s first-ever Gay Pride week. Run by community events group Shanghai LGBT, the program included diverse parties, talks, discussions, and beauty contests – but no parade, the hallmark of gay pride events in other major cities.
RFA Reports on ethnic Karen fleeing Burma after attack
June 9 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on thousands of ethnic Karen fleeing from their refugee camps in Burma to Thailand following a military assault by the Burmese junta, according to a spokesman for the Karen and aid groups in the area.
RFA Reports on Chinese remembering Tiananmen crackdown, 20 years later
June 4 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story on [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in China fueling more calls for public reckoning of the event, which is rarely mentioned in the country. In Beijing, the anniversary was marked by a visibly strong security presence close to the square, where 20 years ago the People’s Liberation Army used machine guns, armored vehicles, and tanks to disperse thousands of protesters encamped there.
RFA Reports on Laos sentencing UK woman to life
June 3 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on a Lao court sentencing a pregnant British national to life in prison for drug smuggling. Samantha Orobator, 20, was convicted in the Lao capital, Vientiane, of trafficking 680 g (1.5 lbs.) of heroin when she tried to board a plane at Wattay airport last August, a British embassy spokesman said