RFA Reports (November 2016)

2016-12-12
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(Washington, DC — Dec. 1, 2016) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in November:

RFA Reports on continued prison term for Cambodia’s ‘Kem Sokha Five’

Nov. 30 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodia’s Supreme Court rejecting an attempt to free four human rights workers and an election official while they await trial. The group, dubbed the “Kem Sokha Five,” is awaiting trial on charges connected with an alleged affair by opposition party leader Kem Sokha.

RFA Reports on prominent Chinese democracy activist dying in jail

Nov. 30 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on prominent Chinese democracy activist Peng Ming dying while serving jail time. Peng Ming was detained in 2004 when he was tricked into crossing into Myanmar from Thailand, where he had resettled in 2000.

RFA Reports on jail sentence for Vietnamese land-grab protester

Nov. 30 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on a Hanoi court upholding the conviction of a land-grab protester, sending her back to prison to serve a 20-month term. The 54-year-old woman was tried on public disorder charges after protesting government-sanctioned evictions which are clearing the way for commercial development.

RFA Reports on denial of bail for Myanmar media CEO and editor

Nov. 30 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on a Myanmar court denying bail for the CEO and top editor of the Eleven Media Group. The two were arrested on defamation charges under a controversial article of the country’s telecommunications law.

RFA Reports on Vietnam jailing roadblock protesters

Nov. 29 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on four Vietnamese women being sentenced to six-month jail terms for taking part in protests that blocked a major highway. The protest, held to demand the release of two local men, closed the road for 20 hours.

RFA Reports on detention of Chinese rights website founder

Nov. 29 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on Chinese police raiding the Tianwang rights website and detaining its founder. Police burst into Huang Qi’s home after the site reported on the violent treatment of ordinary people who pursue complaints against the Chinese Communist Party.

RFA Reports on Myanmar’s ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Rohingya

Nov. 28 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on a U.N. official stating that Myanmar is conducting a genocide campaign on stateless Rohingya Muslims. The Myanmar government’s representative to the international body lodged a protest against the allegation in response.

RFA Reports on ‘disappeared’ Chinese rights lawyer

Nov. 28 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on fears growing for the safety of top Chinese human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong after he went missing. Jiang’s U.S.-based wife has demanded an explanation from authorities, as her husband is the latest rights lawyer to be targeted amid an ongoing, year-long crackdown.

RFA Reports on burgeoning market for illegal private homes in North Korea

Nov. 23 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on real estate brokers popping up in North Korea to capitalize on the rapid increase in illegal private home purchases and sales. Citizens who are forbidden by law to buy or sell houses on their own must rely on brokers, who pressure sellers to use their services to sell the properties.

RFA Reports on India deporting asylum-seeking Uyghurs to China

Nov. 23 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on India planning to deport three asylum-seeking Uyghurs to China. First jailed in 2013 on charges of illegal entry and espionage, the three men remained locked up in India despite completing their jail sentences in January 2015.

RFA Reports on Myanmar residents returning to Shan state amid fighting fears

Nov. 23 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Myanmar residents returning from China, where they had fled to escape fighting between four ethnic armed groups and the government military in northern Shan state. About 3,000 Myanmar citizens fled to China after the rebel groups staged a coordinated attack on military outposts, police stations, and a trade center.

RFA Reports on Chinese activist ‘disappeared’ after police raid

Nov. 21 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on eight Shenzhen-based rights activists being detained after a dinner they attended was raided by state security police. A source said some in the group may be facing charges of subversion, though inquiries to a nearby police station regarding the group’s status went unanswered.

RFA Reports on Mongolia welcoming Dalai Lama despite China’s objections

Nov. 18 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama arriving in Mongolia despite strong objections by Beijing. China had demanded that Mongolia not allow the Dalai Lama to enter the country, warning that relations with China would be harmed if the visit went ahead.

RFA Reports on Myanmar detaining nearly 300 suspected militants

Nov. 17 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Myanmar security forces detaining 59 new suspected militants amid a security crackdown in western Rakhine state. This brings the total number of detainees to almost 300 following coordinated attacks on border guard posts which left nine officers dead and led to a subsequent crackdown by state authorities.

RFA Reports on Chinese Christians vowing to circumvent worship bans

Nov. 17 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on Christians in China vowing to continue meeting despite new draconian rules forbidding organized religious events. The new rules aim to eliminate unofficial Christian worship in unregistered “house churches” and “separatists” among Tibetans and Muslim Uyghurs.

RFA Reports on forced labor for Uyghurs in Xinjiang

Nov. 16 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese authorities continuing a policy that forces the Uyghur people to work for free on various public works projects. In what is called the “hasher” by the Uyghurs, residents are forced to labor for the ostensible purpose of “stability maintenance.”

RFA Reports on criticisms of North Korean leader spreading quickly in Pyongyang

Nov. 16 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North Korean residents increasingly mocking leader Kim Jong Un in private conversation following an August broadcast of a video showing the overweight Kim inspecting a pig factory. Expressions now commonly used to describe Kim include “pig” and “incompetent child,” a source in Pyongyang told RFA.

RFA Reports on Myanmar security forces killing dozens in Rakhine state

Nov. 15 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Myanmar security forces killing nearly 70 “insurgents” and detaining hundreds amid an ongoing crackdown in the wake of deadly attacks on border guard stations in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Local residents and rights activists have accused the military of killing civilians, raping women, and burning down homes in areas where the majority of residents are Rohingya.

RFA Reports on pro-independence Hong Kong lawmakers barred from office

Nov. 15 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on Hong Kong’s High Court ruling against two pro-independence lawmakers who used their swearing-in ceremony to make a political protest. Beijing intervened in the ruling, inspiring widespread criticism by legal professionals who said it undermined Hong Kong’s judicial independence.

RFA Reports on China seizing Tibetans’ passports

Nov. 14 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese officials confiscating the passports of Tibetans authorized to travel abroad while also ordering other Tibetans to return home. The recall is likely a bid to reduce attendance at a ceremony to be conducted next year in India by the Dalai Lama.

RFA Reports on detention of independent election candidates in China

Nov. 14 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on police in Shanghai and Beijing detaining independent election candidates and those canvassing on their behalf. Elections are held in China at the county and township levels every three to five years, but opposition candidates are frequently harassed, detained, and jailed.

RFA Reports on propaganda push being a contributing factor in death of Chinese fighter pilot

Nov. 14 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on the death of a Chinese female fighter pilot in training coming after the People’s Liberation Army lowered qualifying standards to ensure the presence of women in prominent combat roles. Chinese media has reported on Yu Xu’s death as that of a heroine, but there was scant coverage of the cause of the incident.

RFA Reports on destruction of Rohingya villages in western Myanmar

Nov. 13 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Myanmar armed forces allegedly burning hundreds of buildings in three villages amid an ongoing crackdown in the wake of deadly attacks on border guard stations in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state. High-definition satellite imagery published by Human Rights watch showed widespread destruction in the villages. Two members of Myanmar’s armed forces were killed in the violence.

RFA Reports on Vietnam escalating nationwide human rights crackdown

Nov. 10 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on the Vietnamese government escalating a nationwide crackdown on human rights activists in the wake of a devastating chemical spill that has inspired uprisings. In a new development, people sentenced under a draconian law often used to silence dissent can now face the death penalty.

RFA Reports on trafficked Lao man waiting to return home

Nov. 9 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on a Lao man who escaped forced labor twice waiting for help to return home. The young Laotian was lured to work in Thailand but was sold off to work first at a Thai rubber plant and then aboard a Thai fishing vessel before escaping into the forest on an Indonesian island.

RFA Reports on rising taxes for shopkeepers in North Korea

Nov. 9 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North Korean authorities figuring out a way to double the money shopkeepers pay in taxes. In what is known as the “double shift,” Pyongyang will double the number of shops in operation while keeping tax rates the same, leaving shop owners with half the time to conduct business while still incurring the same tax cost as before.

RFA Reports on Cambodian opposition leader found guilty of defamation

Nov. 8 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodian opposition party president Sam Rainsy being found guilty of defamation. Sam Rainsy was charged after claiming that Prime Minister Hun Sen’s social media team bought “likes” on Facebook from “click farms” abroad.

RFA Reports on China canceling annual Larung Gar festival as evictions continue

Nov. 7 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on authorities overseeing the destruction of the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy canceling an upcoming annual religious assembly. Public gatherings are forbidden, leaving the monastic community’s monks and nuns to pray privately in their rooms.

RFA Reports on Larung Gar evictees forced to attend political re-education classes

Nov. 4 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on monks and nuns expelled from the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy being subjected to months of political “re-education” after returning home. Displaced residents have been forced to study Chinese policy and regulations regarding Tibet and the Tibetan regions.

RFA Reports on Cambodian leader’s call for military to suppress protests

Nov. 3 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen calling on the nation’s armed forces to put down any so-called “color revolution” in the country. On the same day, jailed opposition party activists called on political leaders to set aside their differences and work together for the sake of the nation.

RFA Reports on Chinese activist jailed for wearing anti-Xi T-shirt

Nov. 2 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on Chinese authorities secretly detaining a graduate of a U.S. university after he wore a T-shirt with the word “Xitler” on it. Quan Ping’s detention came after he posted a selfie outside a government building while wearing the shirt.

RFA Reports on Lao villagers blocked from asking questions at meeting on railway project

Nov. 1 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on Lao villagers attending a meeting held to promote a controversial Lao-Chinese railway project being blocked from asking questions. Villagers wanted to ask questions about compensation and when they would be displaced to make way for the project.