(Washington, DC — November 1, 2015) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in October:
RFA Reports on attack of Cambodian opposition lawmakers
Oct. 30 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on two Cambodian opposition lawmakers attacked by protesters demanding the resignation of the parliamentary first vice president. The mob included about 200 men from Prime Minister Hun Sen’s corps of bodyguards.
RFA Reports on detention of Tibetan father after solo protest
Oct. 30 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on a Tibetan man detained after he launched a solo protest in a public challenge to Beijing’s rule. The man called for Tibetan freedom and the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, while carrying a photo of the Dalai Lama in his hand.
RFA Reports on wounding of Myanmar opposition candidate
Oct. 30 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on a National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmaker being badly wounded while campaigning. The political opposition candidate and two other party workers were attacked by a group of men wielding swords.
RFA Reports on Chinese netizens jailed for tweeting ‘rumors’
Oct. 29 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on three Chinese people jailed on charges of “spreading rumors” for tweeting about an explosion at a nearby chemical factory that wasn’t reported in state media. Police issued a statement afterward saying they “will crack down hard on anyone using the Internet to spread rumors.”
RFA Reports on calls to investigate genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar
Oct. 29 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on legal analysis based on research and documentation finding “strong evidence” of government-sponsored genocide of ethnic minority Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Myanmar politicians called the allegations “baseless.”
RFA Reports on destruction of Tibetan homes leaving 900 homeless
Oct. 27 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on the ongoing demolition by Chinese authorities of Tibetan homes leaving over 900 homeless and living in tents. The demolition was completed in a short time and the Tibetans were not allowed near the site of their demolished homes, a local told RFA.
RFA Reports on recent stringent Chinese media regulations
Oct. 27 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on China’s media regulator issuing rules pledging to crack down on overseas television and Internet content. The decree ordered provincial and regional governments to “strike hard” at any form of illegal television or Internet content and equipment.
RFA Reports on postponed execution for Vietnamese man claiming torture led to confession
Oct. 26 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnamese authorities postponing the execution of a man convicted of the rape and murder of a teenage girl. The man was charged in 2005 and confessed to the crime, but later withdrew his statement, saying he had been beaten into confessing by police.
RFA Reports on massive increase in illegal logging in Laos
Oct. 26 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on huge increases in illegal logging in Laos with an implication of government collusion. The World Wide Fund for Nature found discrepancies between Laos’ timber export numbers and the corresponding import numbers from China and Vietnam.
RFA Reports on lack of freedom for ethnic Mongolian dissident despite release
Oct. 23 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on ethnic Mongolian dissident Hada living in prison-like conditions, despite his release from jail after serving 19 years. Chinese state security police guard Hada’s residence closely, keeping him under constant surveillance.
RFA Reports on fresh clashes in Myanmar’s Shan state
Oct. 23 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on new fighting between Myanmar’s army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Shan state forcing residents to flee their villages. Local political parties are concerned that the fighting may impact the ability of locals to cast their ballots in early November’s general elections.
RFA Reports on Vietnamese democracy activist detained for ‘reactionary’ ties
Oct. 22 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnamese authorities detaining and later releasing a democracy activist as she tried to enter the country from neighboring Laos. State media claims she maintains ties to “reactionary” organizations banned by the government and had earlier been forbidden from traveling abroad.
RFA Reports on Cambodian PM’s son named head of Military Intelligence
Oct. 22 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodian PM Hun Sen naming his son head of the country’s military intelligence department. Critics say the appointment is part of a bid to strengthen the longtime leader’s grip on power.
RFA Reports on illegal logging threatening China’s panda reserves
Oct. 22 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on illegal logging in panda sanctuaries in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan destroying the world's largest habitat for the iconic creatures. The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is becoming fragmented by the loss of forest, putting pandas and other wildlife in danger.
RFA Reports on North Koreans learning more about North and South’s disparities
Oct. 21 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on tour guides in North Korea demonstrating greater knowledge of differences in quality of life between North and South Korea. Sources who observed this told RFA’s Korean Service that it may show an awareness of South Korea despite efforts by North Korea to crack down on its spread.
RFA Reports on China forcing repatriated Uyghurs to make film
Oct. 21 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese authorities forcing two Uyghur men repatriated from Thailand to appear in a film meant to deter other Uyghurs from fleeing the country to seek political asylum. The two men were among a group of 109 asylum-seeking Uyghur refugees returned to China from Thailand months ago. The fate of the group has gone unreported in China’s official media and remains unknown.
RFA Reports on Chinese reporter held on ‘state secrets’ charges
Oct. 19 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on Chinese authorities holding a prominent investigative journalist on suspicion of “obtaining state secrets.” Liu Wei’s detention came shortly after his paper, the Southern Metropolis Daily, ran a black page as an advertisement on the International Day of Democracy.
RFA Reports on North Korea threatening death for those helping families to defect
Oct. 19 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North Korea warning citizens living along the border with China that anyone caught helping families flee the country will be put to death. Close relatives of the offender would then be banished to remote areas of the country, sources in North Korea told RFA.
RFA Reports on Xinjiang township keeping ‘personal archive’ on departed Uyghurs
Oct. 19 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese authorities in an ethnic Uyghur township creating files to track the identities and whereabouts of Uyghurs who have left the area, sometimes simply to find work in other parts of China. Records have been compiled on everyone known to have left the Uyghur-populated township “since the 1990s.”
RFA Reports on Vietnam pressuring family who allege police brutality in son’s death
Oct. 19 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnamese authorities asking the family of a teenager who died in police custody to withdraw a letter they had written to the United Nations requesting an investigation. Do Dang Du, 17, was detained for petty theft and held in custody, where he died after being beaten unconscious and entering into a coma.
RFA Reports on Chinese authorities identifying suspects in XUAR mine attack
Oct. 16 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region identifying 17 suspects from three families suspected of carrying out an apparent revenge attack that left 50 people dead and injured 50 others at a coal mine. The suspects are relatives of the three men who are believed to have been behind the Sept. 18 attack at the Sogan Colliery.
RFA Reports on Chinese police detaining son of Mongolian dissident
Oct. 15 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on Chinese authorities detaining the grown son of ethnic Mongolian dissident Hada, who is currently under house arrest. He was dragged away by state security police while taking a walk with his mother.
RFA Reports on Myanmar cease-fire with eight ethnic armies
Oct. 15 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on the Myanmar government signing a long-awaited nationwide cease-fire agreement with eight armed ethnic groups. Some, including President Thein Sein, lauded the deal, while others lamented the fact that seven of the 15 groups invited to sign it refused, including the Kachin Independence Army, one of the largest armed ethnic groups.
RFA Reports on North Korea forbidding doctors to perform abortions
Oct. 14 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North Korean authorities issuing a directive banning medical professionals from performing birth control procedures and abortions in an effort to reverse the isolated country’s falling birth rate. The new policy says that birth control procedures are illegal, and gynecologists who implant birth control devices in their patients will be punished by law.
RFA Reports on charging of Myanmar activist with ‘defamation’ over Facebook post
Oct. 13 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on authorities in Myanmar arresting a young activist and charging her with “defamation” after posting comments online. The comments compared the country’s new military uniforms to a sarong worn by Aung San Suu Kyi.
RFA Reports on Vietnamese authorities harassing independent Buddhist church
Oct. 13 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnamese authorities harassing a small, independent Buddhist church operating outside of government control. Mobs were sent to harass community members and block access to the building.
RFA Reports on Rohingya Muslims seeking resettlement in Cambodia
Oct. 13 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on two Rohingya Muslims volunteering to resettle in Cambodia, fleeing persecution in their native Myanmar. The resettlement is part of a controversial deal in which Australia has promised to pay more than $40 million to Cambodia for taking refugees off its hands.
RFA Reports on illegal logging threatening Cambodian wildlife sanctuary
Oct. 13 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on a protected forest and wildlife sanctuary in northern Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province coming under threat of illegal logging. Soldiers are clearing land and cutting down trees at Prey Preah Roka Protected Forest, a community representative told RFA’s Khmer Service.
RFA Reports on detention of Tibetan for carrying leaflets calling for Dalai Lama’s return
Oct. 12 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese authorities taking into custody a Tibetan man for violating the terms of his release from prison. The man, who recently finished serving a five-year prison sentence for a solo protest in May 2010, was taken into custody for carrying leaflets calling for the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
RFA Reports on abduction of son of detained China human rights lawyer in Myanmar
Oct. 9 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on authorities in Myanmar detaining the teenage son of detained Chinese rights lawyer Wang Yu in a murky cross-border operation. The boy had entered Myanmar illegally after being denied permission to leave China, where his mother is detained and being held under “residential surveillance” at an unknown location.
RFA Reports on calls for release of wife of jailed Chinese Nobel laureate
Oct. 8 – RFA Mandarin aired story [English/Mandarin] on activists calling on the ruling Chinese Communist Party to release jailed Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo’s wife Liu Xia, who has been under house arrest at the couple's Beijing apartment since her husband's award was announced five years ago. Beijing rights activist Hu Jia, a close friend of the Lius, said the Nobel award has had repercussions for the activist's extended family. "[Liu Xia's] brother was sentenced to 11 years in jail, which was entirely because of his connection to the Lius," Hu told RFA.
RFA Reports on little assurance for Montagnards fleeing persecution in Vietnam
Oct. 8 – RFA Vietnamese and Khmer aired story [text in English/Vietnamese/Khmer] on ethnic Montagnards who have fled Vietnam for Cambodia saying they were forced to leave after enduring relentless persecution by authorities in their home country. But they also say they face difficulties when they apply for asylum across the border in Cambodia.
RFA Reports on Cambodian opposition senator being detained indefinitely
Oct. 7 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on the trial of a Cambodian opposition senator being postponed indefinitely. The lawmaker was returned to prison without bail in a move rights groups call a violation of his right to a fair and speedy trial.
RFA Reports on Myanmar opposition party promising equal rights with election win
Oct. 6 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on Myanmar’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party pledging to uphold equal rights for all nationalities and religions in the predominantly Buddhist country if it wins the general elections.
RFA Reports on Beijing being ‘100 percent covered’ with surveillance cameras
Oct. 5 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on Beijing police saying that “every corner” of the city is now covered by a surveillance camera system. The upgrade is part of a nationwide “skynet” policy requiring cities across China to achieve full video surveillance coverage.
RFA Reports on defacing of North Korean propaganda posters
Oct. 5 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on posters glorifying North Korea’s ruling Korean Workers’ Party being defaced across the country in a wave of popular resentment against burdens imposed in preparation for celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the party’s founding. Graffiti attacks defacing the posters were first noticed in South Pyongan province’s Pyongsong city during regional elections in July, a source in neighboring Jagang province told RFA’s Korean Service.
RFA Reports on Chinese police raiding petitioners in Beijing
Oct. 2 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on police in Beijing holding a man after a raid on a National Day party for petitioners. Long-time political activist and petitioner Ge Zhihui, who once penned an open letter to former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao over allegations that his family held billions of dollars in hidden assets, said police raided her home.
RFA Reports on Chinese lawyers living ‘in constant fear’
Oct. 2 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on Chinese lawyers living in constant fear amidst a nationwide crackdown targeting human rights lawyers across the country. A former judge who became a lawyer to escape political interference told RFA the “unprecedented” crackdown has affected the entire legal profession.
RFA Reports on jailing of Polish activist in Laos after online criticism of government
Oct. 1 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on a Polish activist being sentenced to nearly five years in prison after posting criticism of the Lao government online. The Polish activist of Lao heritage was charged with “campaigning and carrying out activities against the regime of the Lao PDR.”