RFA Reports (October 2010)


(Washington, DC — Nov. 1, 2010) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in October:

RFA Reports on new campaign for missing Chinese rights lawyer

Oct. 29 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on the daughter of missing Chinese civil rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng calling on President Obama to pressure Beijing for more information about her father. Grace Geng, 17, who now lives in the United States with her mother and brother, said in an open letter to the president ahead of the G20 summit in Seoul that Beijing had kidnapped him.

RFA Reports on new scrutiny of bauxite mining in Vietnam after Hungarian spill

Oct. 29 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnamese lawmakers re-examining bauxite mining in Vietnam in the wake of Hungary’s toxic spill at an alumina plant on Oct. 4.

RFA Reports on Burma announcing release of Suu Kyi

Oct. 28 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Burma’s military junta saying they will release detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi after the Nov. 7 polls. The move is an apparent bid to ease international outcry over the widely criticized election.

RFA Reports on Uyghurs supporting Tibetan student protests

Oct. 27 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on ethnic minority Uyghurs expressing support for protests by Tibetan students campaigning for language rights as Beijing clamps down on the Internet in northwestern China.

RFA Reports on allegations over psychiatric abuse in China

Oct. 27 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on a Chinese rights group campaigning for the release of petitioners – ordinary Chinese who complain about alleged official wrongdoing – from psychiatric hospitals. The group claims petitioners are routinely detained and given forcible “treatment,” including electric shock, to silence them.

RFA Reports on Vietnamese rights record questioned

Oct. 27 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnamese authorities sentencing two people to jail for up to a year following bloody clashes with police over a land dispute that highlighted alleged police brutality and religious persecution. In another case, three labor activists were ordered jailed for up to nine years for “causing public disturbance,” reflecting what some rights groups said was Hanoi’s increasing intolerance to worker rights. The convictions, together with the arrest of two bloggers in October, come as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepared to fly to Hanoi for a high profile regional summit.

RFA Reports on family of Liu Xiaobo seeking jail visit

Oct. 26 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on the family of jailed 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo seeking permission from the Chinese government to visit him in prison. Liu’s family has also called on the government to release him so he may receive his award in person in Oslo. “I and my older brother Liu Xiaoguang have applied in Dalian to visit [him],” Liu Xiaobo’s brother Liu Xiaoxuan said in an Oct. 26 interview. They join a dozen Nobel laureates and many world leaders in calling for Liu’s release.

RFA Reports on Vietnamese church leader asking for delay in trial

Oct. 26 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on a key church leader in Vietnam requesting a delay in the trial of six people held since last May following bloody clashes with the police over the seizure of their land by the government. In a letter to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and the government committee for religious affairs, Bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop said the court hearing, scheduled for Oct. 27, “must be delayed until all questions are answered.”

RFA Reports on Burma ranked at bottom of global corruption survey

Oct. 26 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English] on Burma being ranked next to worst in corruption in a report released by Transparency International, a Berlin-based monitoring group. The report, “Corruption Perceptions Index 2010,” ranks 178 countries by their perceived levels of public-sector corruption, as determined by surveys conducted outside the countries by business experts and organizations including the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and the European Union, among other groups.

RFA Reports on schools clampdown in wake of Tibetan language protests

Oct. 25 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on authorities in Tibetan regions of western China’s Qinghai province tightening security around high school and college campuses in the wake of demonstrations in support of Tibetan-language education. Several hundred students and teachers from high schools in Chentsa (in Chinese, Jianzha) county, in Qinghai’s Malho (in Chinese, Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, took to the streets on Oct. 24 in support of the continued use of Tibetan language in local schools. Protests among students have spread throughout the country, including the capital city of Beijing.

RFA Reports on 100th North Korean defector to U.S.

Oct. 24 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on the one hundredth North Korean defector to the United States. Jo Jeon Myeong told RFA he values freedom more than life and wants to eventually return as a missionary to help his compatriots toiling as laborers in the Russian Far East.

RFA Reports on silk industry rebounding in Cambodia

Oct. 22 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodia’s rebounding silk industry. Silk weaving had been a tradition since the 7th century in the Southeast Asian state but the industry was devastated during the 1975-79 rule of the Communist Khmer Rouge as people were forced to build capacity for growing rice at the expense of other farm sectors.

RFA Reports on rural Chinese women hampered by traditional roles

Oct. 22 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on a recent United Nations report saying social status remaining unchanged for Chinese women in rural areas, despite improvements in access to education and better paying jobs in urban areas.

RFA Reports on popular Vietnamese blogger facing new charges

Oct. 21 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnam’s popular blogger Nguyen Van Hai not being released from jail despite his two-and-a-half year term for tax evasion has ended. According to his former wife Duong Thi Tan, police said he will now be slapped with fresh charges of campaigning against the one-party communist state.

RFA Reports on more strikes likely in China

Oct. 20 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on the likelihood that labor unrest in China’s factories could reignite at any moment. The Hong Kong-based China Labor Bulletin (CLB) said in a report that a recent bid by Hong Kong factory owners to block new laws in the manufacturing heartland of neighboring Guangdong province could push labor relations to the breaking point again.

RFA Reports on legal appeal for Liu Xiaobo withdrawn

Oct. 18 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on tight police controls over the wife of jailed Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo hampering a legal challenge to the dissident's 11-year prison sentence for subversion. Liu Xiaobo’s lawyer, Shang Baojun, said the sudden restrictions imposed on Liu Xia following the Oct. 8 announcement that her husband would receive the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize have prompted him to shelve the appeal for the time being. RFA reported on Liu Xia meeting her husband earlier this month.

RFA Reports on protests in China and Japan over islands

Oct. 17 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on thousands in China and Japan staging tit-for-tat protests over rights to disputed islands. The protests erupted despite moves by the two neighbors to ease the strains over competing claims for islands in the East China Sea.

RFA Reports on China leaders meeting amid reform calls

Oct. 15 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on China’s ruling Communist Party meeting in Beijing to discuss the country’s direction over the next five years, amid growing calls for political reform in the wake of a controversial Nobel award to a jailed dissident.

RFA Reports on arrests in Southeast Asian sex trafficking ring

Oct. 14 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on police in Thailand rescuing 13 girls from Laos who were forced into prostitution and arresting four suspects involved in a syndicate smuggling underage girls. Human trafficking from Laos is a serious problem. Most of the girls trafficked from the tiny Southeast Asian state end up in Thailand.

RFA Reports on call to lift censorship in China

Oct. 13 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on hundreds of journalists and retired Communist Party officials signing an open letter calling on China’s parliament to put an end to government censorship of the media. The letter also demands legal backing to constitutional freedoms of speech and association.

RFA Reports on worker’s death sparking Sichuan riots

Oct. 12 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on the deaths of two migrant construction workers after being severely beaten by their employers over wage issues in southwest China’s Dujiangyan city in Sichuan province. The incident has sparked mass riots with thousands taking to the streets, blocking traffic on a main city road.

RFA Reports on Uyghur homes razed

Oct 12 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on authorities in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region razing Uyghur homes and orchards to make way for new apartment complexes. Members of the Uyghur ethnic minority in Hanbing town, near Gulja city (in Chinese, Yining) in Ili prefecture said they were forcibly evicted after their properties were demolished in August and September. They were also not compensated by the government.

RFA Reports on detainment of Liu supporters

Oct. 11 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on Chinese authorities detaining supporters of jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo across the country. The detainments were made as friends and supporters of Liu attempted to attend and organize celebratory events with the announcement of the award. Rights activists Xu Zhiyong, Wang Lihong, and Zhao Changqing, poet A’erji, and Wu Gan, an activist from Fujian currently living in Beijing, were all detained separately by police as they tried to meet in the Ditan area of the city for a meal in honor of Liu’s award.

RFA Reports on junior Kim at center stage

Oct. 10 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s heir apparent joining his father at a massive military parade in Pyongyang in his most high-profile public appearance since being appointed a general and key party leader. Kim Jong Un, believed to be about 27 years old, took center stage during the parade, standing near his father, applauding, and saluting as thousands of goose-stepping troops marched past along with tanks and trucks carrying missiles and other weaponry on Oct. 9.

RFA Reports on privacy concerns over Chinese online chat service

Oct. 5 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on a group of Chinese lawyers filing a privacy lawsuit over one of China’s most popular online chat programs. Their action follows complaints that the service, QQ, had scanned confidential information on users’ computers.

RFA Reports on new construction at North Korean nuke facility

Oct. 5 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North Korea rebuilding a nuclear site it had formerly used to produce weapons-grade plutonium. The development comes as the reclusive nation puts in place what analysts see as a leadership succession plan.

RFA Reports on Guangzhou expelling Cantonese activists

Oct. 5 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on authorities in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou expelling two activists who helped organize a movement in support of the Cantonese language in the city, which is hosting the Asian Games in November.

RFA Reports on confiscation of Tibetan exile ballots

Oct. 4 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Nepalese police confiscating ballot boxes at Tibetan exile government polling stations in Kathmandu before polls closed. Twenty ballot boxes were confiscated from the Swayambhunath, Boudha, and Jawalakel polling stations, all located in the Nepali capital.

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