RFA Reports (November 2011)


(Washington, DC — Dec. 1, 2011) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in November:

RFA Reports on planned release of Vietnamese rights lawyer

Nov. 29 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnamese authorities setting to release a jailed democracy activist. U.S.-trained human rights lawyer Le Cong Dinh, 42, has served 22 months of a five-year prison sentence he received in January 2010 for “carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration.” He could have faced the death penalty for subversion.

RFA Reports on Chinese authorities canceling blogger’s accounts

Nov. 29 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on authorities in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang freezing the microblogging accounts of an independent journalist and prominent blogger for publishing “uncivilized” content. Hangzhou-based veteran journalist and blogger Zan Aizong said his accounts on the popular Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo services had been deleted.

RFA Reports on China seeking to maintain military ties with Burma

Nov. 28 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on China’s leadership saying it would work to strengthen military ties with Burma ahead of the visit to Naypyidaw by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The statement followed recent remarks by a Burmese official that the country is looking beyond China for global partners.

RFA Reports on concerns for Chinese AIDS activist

Nov. 28 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on Chinese authorities stepping up surveillance of key AIDS activists ahead of World AIDS Day. Tian Xi, one of China's most outspoken AIDS patients, was detained outside the health ministry in 2009 after staging a protest on World AIDS Day. Activists are concerned he and others may be imprisoned again in an effort to silence protests over the treatment of AIDS patients in Chinese hospitals.

RFA Reports on dismissal of Burma official over bribery

Nov. 27 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on the dismissal of a high-ranking Burmese regional official over allegations of bribery connected to the lucrative rice trade. The move could mark the first high-profile corruption case involving a nonmilitary official since the country’s new government took office earlier this year.

RFA Reports on Chinese police, workers clashing in labor strikes

Nov. 23 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on thousands of Chinese workers in Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces clashing with police in separate strikes over excessive overtime and poor pay. More than 3,000 workers at the Taiwan-invested electronics company Kun Shan Ltd. gathered outside their factory in Jiangsu, calling for talks with management, who instead called the police.

RFA Reports on Burma president saying Aung San Suu Kyi may get post

Nov. 22 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Burmese President Thein Sein saying pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi could get a governmental post if she contests and wins upcoming elections. The remarks, made at the Southeast Asia summit in Indonesia, also touched on the freeing of political prisoners and the wish to end ethnic military fighting in the country.

RFA Reports on second UN Khmer Rouge trial beginning

Nov. 22 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on a U.N.-backed tribunal launching its second trial of leaders of Cambodia’s notorious Khmer Rouge regime, with prosecutors accusing them of overseeing mass slave camps, forced evictions, torture, and executions. Some 4,000 civil parties are involved in the proceedings as victims of crimes allegedly perpetrated by the defendants.

RFA Reports on Chinese independent candidates lodging complaint

Nov. 21 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on more than 40 Chinese independent candidates alleging widespread harassment from local officials in a letter of protest.

RFA Reports on Vietnamese parishioners’ protest in Hanoi

Nov. 18 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on hundreds of Vietnamese Catholics protesting in the country’s capital over seized land they claim belongs to their church. Parishioners marched around the city’s central Hoan Kiem lake displaying signs which read, “What was borrowed must be returned to the people,” while making their way to a local government office, where they delivered a petition spelling out their demands.

RFA Reports on detention of Chinese ‘Jasmine’ activist

Nov. 16 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on the detention and possible torture of a Chinese netizen in the eastern province of Anhui on suspicion of involvement in recent calls for a Middle East-inspired “Jasmine” revolution. Wu Lebao was released from criminal detention this week after signing an undertaking not to meet with other activists, according to rights activist Li Wenge.

RFA Reports on Burmese monks staging protest

Nov. 15 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on five Buddhist monks staging a rare protest in Burma’s second largest city for the release of all political prisoners, an end to longstanding ethnic armed conflicts, and greater freedom of speech. They gathered at the famous Maha Myatmuni pagoda in Mandalay to announce their demands written in banners, which they unfurled and put up at the building, drawing at one stage about 500 fellow monks and onlookers.

RFA Reports on Aung San Suu Kyi calling for more reforms

Nov. 14 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi demanding more reforms on the first anniversary of her release from years of house arrest. The Nobel laureate said the release of all political prisoners and an end to armed ethnic conflict should be given top priority.

RFA Reports on detainments for visitors of Chinese blind activist

Nov. 12 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on authorities in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong detaining at least 13 people attempting to make a birthday visit to blind human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng who is under house arrest. Authorities also held campaigners who tried to organize mass visits to Chen's home village of Dongshigu ahead of his 40th birthday.

RFA Reports on criticism for Vietnam over broadcasters’ imprisonment

Nov. 11 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnam drawing criticism from international rights groups for imprisoning two Falun Gong activists who beamed radio broadcasts into China. Rights groups allege the move as evidence of Vietnam pandering to the will of Beijing.

RFA Reports on Cambodian environmental activists burning illegal timber

Nov. 11 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodian police detaining the leader of a group of 300 environmental activists. The activists, who refer to themselves Cambodia’s “avatars,” had seized and burned timber extracted by illegal logging companies in a rare rain forest area north of the country.

RFA Reports on new Chinese media rules targeting netizens

Nov. 11 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on China’s censors issuing strict rules for journalists in state-run media. The new regulations come with the warning that those who report information the government deems "inaccurate" could lose their press cards or even face jail time. But analysts said the rules are also aimed at ordinary Chinese who use the Internet to publish news that official media are forbidden to report.

RFA Reports on controversial report on Lao dam project

Nov. 9 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on a new report commissioned by the Lao government making questionable claims regarding the impact of a planned hydroelectric dam in the landlocked country. A conservation group says the assessment should not be used as a basis for proceeding with the Xayaburi Dam, which would affect riparian communities in Laos and other countries along the Mekong River.

RFA Reports on Ai Weiwei vowing fight for justice

Nov. 8 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on outspoken Chinese artist and human rights activist Ai Weiwei saying he does not fear re-arrest, suggesting authorities were using the tax issue to muzzle him. “I have no fear of arrest as it is not a big deal,” he said in an interview with Radio Free Asia’s Mandarin service, vowing to continue his fight for justice.

RFA Reports on self-immolation of Chinese brothers after land grab

Nov. 7 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on three brothers being hospitalized after setting themselves on fire to protest a forced land grab in northern China’s Hebei province. The trio took the extreme action after local authorities dispatched about 300 “gangsters” backed by heavy equipment such as bulldozers and excavators to flatten and seize a 66-acre wheat field in Peipozhuang village, villagers told RFA.

RFA Reports on rights groups appealing to China over Tibetan deaths

Nov. 7 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on two major global human rights organizations calling on the Chinese government to end “repressive” policies in Tibetan areas, in a direct appeal to China’s President Hu Jintao. The policies are being blamed for 11 self-immolation protest deaths so far this year.

RFA Reports on Uyghur refugee fearing extradition

Nov. 6 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on extradition threats of a Pakistan-born Uyghur refugee who fled the country to Afghanistan after refusing to become a Chinese spy. Kamirdin Abdurahman, said in an interview with RFA he was given refugee status in October in Afghanistan by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), nearly two years after he fled to the neighboring country following threats he received for refusing to spy for Beijing on the activities of Uyghurs in Pakistan.

RFA Reports on admission over Burma’s 1990 elections

Nov. 4 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on a high-ranking Burmese official acknowledging the suppression of the 1990 election victory of Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party. The admission, made in the official media, comes as a surprise for many and could reopen the controversy.

RFA Reports on concerns over anti-terror law targeting Uyghurs

Nov. 3 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on ethnic Uyghurs in China’s far western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region anticipating harsher treatment as a result of China’s new counter-terrorism law. The measure approved by China’s legislature would legalize secret detentions and could be used as a tool to stifle dissent, according to rights groups and experts.

RFA Reports on second self-immolation of Tibetan nun

Nov. 3 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on a second Tibetan nun burning herself to death in protest against Chinese rule. The incident, which comes in a long line of similar self-immolations this year, sparked a rally of thousands calling for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

RFA Reports on Tibetan leader voicing urgency of situation

Nov. 1 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on the head of Tibet’s exile government saying China's refusal to accept the "reality" of the situation in Tibet and to compromise on Tibetan demands are key reasons for rising protests against Beijing's rule in the region. In an interview with RFA, Lobsang Sangay—kalon tripa, or head of the India-based Central Tibetan Administration— said he remains open to talks with China on questions concerning Tibet.

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