RFA Reports (October 2013)

2013-11-21
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(Washington, DC — Nov. 1, 2013) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in October:

RFA Reports on severe injury of Chinese land protester

Oct. 31 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on a land protester from the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang suffering from brain damage following clashes with authorities over the planned sale of farmland and forests.

RFA Reports on Chinese calling Tiananmen crash an act of terror

Oct. 30 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese authorities saying they arrested five Uyghur suspects in connection with a deadly motor vehicle crash at Tiananmen Square. They are also describing it as a "violent terrorist attack" — Beijing's first in recent history.

RFA Reports on Beijing calling for police ‘vigilance’ in Tibetan regions

Oct. 30 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on authorities in a Tibetan-populated county in western China’s Sichuan province tightening controls on motor vehicles following the crash of an SUV in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Officials in Sichuan’s Kardze county are urging “vigilance” in policing the area, a resident told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

RFA Reports on detention of Vietnamese blogger upon return

Oct. 30 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on the detention of an outspoken Vietnamese blogger at Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport upon his return from a six-month trip to the Philippines and Thailand. Nguyen Lan Thang, who began blogging for RFA’s Vietnamese Service in September, visited those countries to meet with U.N. human rights officials and advocacy and media groups.

RFA Reports on EU dissatisfaction with Lao government over activist’s disappearance

Oct. 28 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on a European parliamentary delegation expressing dissatisfaction with the Lao government’s explanation of the disappearance of prominent local activist Sombath Somphone. He was last seen almost a year ago being stopped in his vehicle at a police checkpoint in the Lao capital of Vientiane.

RFA Reports on Myanmar ethnic groups holding ceasefire talks

Oct. 28 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on more than a dozen Myanmar ethnic rebel groups holding talks about forging a common strategy to end decades of armed conflict with the government. The meetings come ahead of a landmark meeting with President Thein Sein’s officials that could result in the signing of the country’s first nationwide ceasefire agreement.

RFA Reports on North Korea defector meeting with Bush
Oct. 25 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on former U.S. President George W. Bush holding talks with a North Korean defector who gave a harrowing account of his childhood spent in a camp for political prisoners. The former president expressed concern that abuses suffered by prisoners in North Korea during Shin’s time in the camp continue today.

RFA Reports on Cambodian opposition ending three-day protests

Oct. 25 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodia’s opposition announcing the end of its massive protests questioning the fairness and credibility of the summer election. Some 20,000 supporters of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), led by Sam Rainsy, marched through the capital Phnom Penh on the final day of demonstrations.

RFA Reports on forced abortion victim’s trial in China

Oct. 24 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on a Chinese court charging a woman with fraud after writing online about her forced abortion at the hands of the authorities. Li Fengfei told the court in the southwestern province of Guizhou's Bijie city, that she was not concerned about her fate "because she didn't want to live since losing her baby."

RFA Reports on Myanmar president not seeking a second term

Oct. 24 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on Myanmar's reformist President Thein Sein not seeking a second term in office. Parliamentary Speaker Shwe Mann, who has declared his intention to bid for the post in the 2015 elections, said that the constitution should be amended to allow opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to run for Myanmar’s highest office as well.

RFA Reports on raids on Uyghurs alleged to be part of ‘bomb plot’

Oct. 24 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese police raids on Uyghurs leaving scores dead. The raids in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region were conducted in an effort to thwart a separatist bombing campaign, a source with inside knowledge of police operations told RFA’s Uyghur Service.

RFA Reports on detention of Chinese journalist sparking outcry

Oct. 24 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on China's official media regulator saying it was paying "close attention" to the case of an investigative journalist who works for a newspaper in Guangdong province's Guangzhou city. He was detained by police from another city after writing articles about a major state-backed engineering company, exposing its role in official corruption.

RFA Reports on Laos following China, Vietnam on social media controls

Oct. 24 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on a rapidly growing contingent of Facebook users in Laos facing penalties for false or “inappropriate” posts. Authorities plan to introduce unprecedented social media regulations similar to recent Chinese and Vietnamese laws.

RFA Reports on jailing of two parishioners of Vietnam’s Vinh Diocese

Oct. 23 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on a court in Vietnam's North Central Coast region ordering the jailing of two Catholics who campaigned for religious freedom for "disturbing public order." The sentencing triggered outrage among family members, priests and parishioners.

RFA Reports on jailing of Tibetans over January self-immolation

Oct. 23 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on the jailing of three Tibetans in China's Sichuan province after they were accused of preventing police from stopping a Tibetan from burning to death in protest against Chinese rule. A court in Sichuan's Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture sentenced the men to up to five years in prison for their alleged role in the death of a young Tibetan, Tsering Phuntsok, who self-immolated in January.


RFA Reports on criticism of China’s rights record during UN review

Oct. 23 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on rights activists criticizing China during an official periodic review by the United Nations Human Rights Council. They said an all-out public relations bid by Beijing does little to hide routine violations of the rights of its citizens.

RFA Reports on arrest of top social media user in China

Oct. 21 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on the arrest of a popular social media activist and businessman on public order charges amid an escalating crackdown on online "rumors." Outspoken venture capitalist Wang Gongquan, who used his account on the Sina Weibo microblogging service to support civil rights campaigns, will likely be tried in court this year.

RFA Reports on North Korea seeking Chinese electricity

Oct. 21 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on the failure of a series of talks between Beijing and Pyongyang to jump-start a plan that would see China supply electricity to North Korea. Pyongyang requires nearly six times the amount of its annual electricity production capacity to meet the nation’s basic power needs and is urgently seeking assistance from its ally China, a North Korean electrical engineer told RFA’s Korean Service.

RFA Reports on closing arguments of Khmer Rouge trial

Oct. 21 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodian prosecutors demanding life imprisonment for two elderly Khmer Rouge leaders on trial for war crimes. The call came at the end of closing arguments in the U.N.-backed court against “Brother Number Two” Nuon Chea and ex-head of state Khieu Samphan, both accused of playing a leading role in the communist regime's reign of terror in the late 1970s that left up to 2 million people dead.

RFA Reports on Chinese mine spill tainting river in Tibetan region

Oct. 18 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on polluted water from a Chinese mining site in a Tibetan-populated area in western China’s Sichuan province spilling into an important river. This has resulted in an environmental disaster, poisoning an important fresh water source for villagers and killing fish and livestock.

RFA Reports on detention of China activist over tweets on ethnic unrest

Oct. 16 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on authorities in the central Chinese province of Henan holding a prominent rights activist in administrative detention after she retweeted news of ethnic unrest in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Liu Linna, widely known by her pseudonym Liu Shasha, was detained after she went to apply for a permit to visit her husband in Hong Kong.

RFA Reports on arrests in Myanmar bombings

Oct. 15 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on authorities in Myanmar arresting six people in connection with a series of unexplained bomb explosions in several cities. One individual arrested is a key suspect behind the blast that injured an American guest at the luxury Traders Hotel in Yangon.

RFA Reports on protest over Chinese ban on individuals with HIV/AIDS

Oct. 14 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on AIDS and civil rights activists slamming China's proposed banning of HIV/AIDS patients from public spa facilities. They said this was the latest in a long string of discriminatory measures targeting individuals with HIV.

RFA Reports on police opening fire during ethnic clashes in Yunnan

Oct. 14 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on the injury of at least five people after police opened fire during clashes between ethnic minority Dai people and Han Chinese migrants in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan.

RFA Reports on Tibetan monks demanding monk’s release at police station

Oct. 14 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on hundreds of Tibetan monks marching to a police station in western China’s Sichuan province to demand the release of a colleague. Kelsang Chodar, a monk of the Palyul monastery in Palyul, was detained for spreading word of a fatal police crackdown in a neighboring region.

RFA Reports on shooting deaths of Tibetans protesting forced displays of loyalty to China

Oct. 11 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese security forces killing four Tibetan villagers and wounding 50 others protesting forced displays of loyalty. The demonstrations in Driru county in the Tibet Autonomous Region began in opposition to the flying of Chinese flags and the display of Chinese leaders’ pictures in shop windows and homes.

RFA Reports on Cambodian ruling party filling commissions despite boycott

Oct. 10 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government filling all parliamentary commissions with ruling party members. The controversial move came despite the opposition’s continued boycott of the legislature.

RFA Reports on arrest of Chinese graft reporter

Oct. 10 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on the arrest of a whistleblowing journalist. Liu Hu, a reporter with Guangzhou's Modern Express newspaper, had exposed official corruption in his hometown of Chongqing.

RFA Reports on China launching anti-terror exercises in Mongolian region

Oct. 9 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on Chinese police launching "anti-terrorism" drills in Inner Mongolia. These commenced amid growing tensions in China's Inner Mongolia over what herders say is the government-backed exploitation of their traditional grazing lands.

RFA Reports on fears over rising dam levels in Cambodia amid deadly floods

Oct. 8 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on authorities in Cambodia expressing concerns over the rising levels of a dam in the country's western Battambang province as deadly floods continued to ravage the kingdom. Heavy rains since September have caused floods in 15 of Cambodia's 23 provinces and left at least 83 people dead.

RFA Reports on criticism of Laos over second Mekong dam project

Oct. 7 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on widespread criticism of Laos for its decision to forge ahead with a second hydropower dam on the Mekong River. Detractors allege the authorities have given inadequate time for consultation with neighboring countries and the Lao people affected by the project.

RFA Reports on call for calm in Myanmar after sectarian violence

Oct. 7 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on religious leaders in a western Myanmar town urging calm after fresh violence broke out in the country’s central Irrawaddy Delta region. A mob of Buddhist residents destroyed five Muslim houses in the region’s Kyaunggon township, outside the former capital Yangon.

RFA Reports on Chinese denial of Tibetan students’ visas to study abroad

Oct. 4 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese authorities refusing to issue passports to a group of young Tibetans who received approval for study in Japan and the U.S. The students argued that if the children of high-ranking officials are permitted to travel for study abroad, students coming from “common families on the grasslands” should be allowed the same rights.

RFA Reports on death of Vietnam’s General Giap

Oct. 4 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on the death of Vietnam's General Vo Nguyen Giap. Giap led a stunning defeat of French colonial forces and later formulated a protracted war strategy against the Americans in South Vietnam. He was 102.

RFA Reports on North Korean farmers fearing ‘betrayal’ over distribution plan

Oct. 3 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on worries among North Korean farmers over the government’s silence on its plans for allocating this year’s harvest. This has left farmers angry and afraid they may not receive their promised share of food, despite improved crop yields.

RFA Reports on police roundup of 100 Uyghurs amid hunt for suspects in clash

Oct. 3 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on authorities rounding up some 100 ethnic minority Uyghurs in China’s southwestern province of Yunnan amid a hunt for suspects fleeing to the Lao border following a deadly clash.

RFA Reports on jail term for prominent Vietnamese legal activist

Oct. 2 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on a Vietnamese court handing a 30-month jail sentence to prominent dissident Le Quoc Quan on tax evasion charges. Quan, a popular blogger and human rights advocate, “protested and denied the indictment read by the prosecutor’s office at the trial,” saying there were many “inaccuracies.”

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