RFA Reports (October 2011)


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

RFA Reports on uproar over filming near home of Chinese activist

Oct. 31 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on rights groups criticizing a Hollywood movie studio for filming a comedy in Linyi city, Shandong province, close to where Chinese authorities have held a blind activist and his family under house arrest for more than a year.

RFA Reports on Tibetan monks fleeing monastery after blast

Oct. 30 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese authorities banning religious activities and harassing monks at an ancient monastery in Tibet's Chamdo prefecture following a recent bomb explosion at a government building. Most of the monks at the monastery in Dzagyu Karma township where the blast occurred have fled the institution, saying they cannot bear the pressure by Chinese security forces.

RFA Reports on Chinese workers rioting over tax hikes

Oct. 28 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on workers in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang rioting over announced tax increases. Textile workers in Zhejiang's Huzhou city took to the streets, torching cars and smashing government buildings, after the government announced a rise in local taxes.

RFA Reports on criticism of China over mental illness detentions

Oct. 27 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on accusations by a German rights group over China’s system of incarcerating the mentally ill.

RFA Reports on nomination of independent Beijing candidate

Oct. 27 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on a Beijing woman becoming the first person in the city not endorsed by the ruling Communist Party to win nomination as a district-level election candidate. “In the past few days I have been harassed, kept under surveillance, and put under pressure to withdraw from the elections,” Han Ying said in an interview after her nomination was announced.

RFA Reports on Burma police breaking up rare protest

Oct. 27 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Burmese police detaining up to seven people, including a rights campaigner, and dispersing as many as 100 farmers after the group held a rare demonstration in Rangoon to protest the confiscation of their land. An attorney who campaigns for farmers’ rights and who had been helping the group petition the government over their seized land, was taken by police to an undisclosed location.

RFA Reports on calls to free Lao student protest leaders

Oct. 25 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on exiled dissidents and human rights groups calling for greater international pressure on the Lao government to release all political prisoners, but especially four student leaders who have been imprisoned for 12 years. The four leaders of the Lao Students Movement for Democracy were sentenced to 20 years in prison after they held peaceful protests in 1999 calling for political reforms, respect for human rights, and an end to corruption.

RFA Reports on Cambodian legal suit over Khmer Rouge case

Oct. 24 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on the legal team for a high-ranking former Khmer Rouge leader facing genocide charges filing a lawsuit against Cambodia’s prime minister and several other government officials for interfering in the progress of a U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal. The suit, brought forward at Phnom Penh Municipal Court by the lawyers representing Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot’s former second-in-command Nuon Chea, accused the government of obstructing justice sought by the tribunal.

RFA Reports on death of another herdsman in Inner Mongolia

Oct. 23 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on an ethnic Mongolian herdsman being killed by a truck in China’s northern region of Inner Mongolia five months after a similar incident sparked the region's worst riots in 20 years. Official media reported the man had blocked traffic driving through an oil field in Uxin Banner, Inner Mongolia. But netizens said in online posts that the man was standing in the road to protest against trucks driving through the grasslands, which have been threatened by pollution and other environmental effects.

RFA Reports on renewed Burma ethnic clashes
Oct. 20 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on the escalation of fighting between Burmese government troops and ethnic Kachin rebels in northeastern Burma. Casualties have been inflicted on both sides with civilians caught in the crossfire amid mounting concerns of human rights abuses.

RFA Reports on Chinese troops pouring into Lhasa

Oct. 20 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese security forces in large numbers moving into Tibet’s regional capital Lhasa in an apparent bid to discourage local protests against Beijing rule. The move follows a recent wave of self-immolation protests against Chinese rule in which at least five Tibetans in a Tibetan-populated county of Sichuan province have died.

RFA Reports on violence and protests at Xinjiang school

Oct. 19 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese authorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region confirming clashes between Han Chinese and Muslim Uyghur high-school students in Karamay city. Authorities however denied any ethnic conflict, saying it is “normal” for teenagers to fight. But Uyghur students, parents, and teachers gathered in protest at the Karamay No. 2 High School after the reported incident.

RFA Reports on chemical spill in Yangtze tributary

Oct. 19 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on authorities in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan confirming a road accident had triggered the spillage of 38 tons of concentrated sulphuric acid into a tributary of the Yangtze River. In official media reports, the effects of the accident were downplayed. But a professor of environment and resources at Beijing's University of Technology argued that the ecological damage from the spill was likely to be severe.

RFA Reports on Khmer Rouge court reconvening despite resignation

Oct. 18 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on a United Nations-backed tribunal in Phnom Penh announcing plans to move forward with a case against four members of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime leadership. The announcement cleared growing doubts its work would be hampered by the recent resignation of a German judge from the court.

RFA Reports on warning for Chinese AIDS activist

Oct. 18 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on authorities in Beijing warning civil rights campaigner Hu Jia not to grant any more interviews to foreign media. Hu, who rose to prominence in the civil rights community for his advocacy on behalf of AIDS patients, was released from a three-year jail term for subversion in June, but has been subjected to continual police harassment.

RFA Reports on shootings of Tibetan protesters

Oct. 17 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese police shooting two Tibetans following protests calling for an end to rule by Beijing in a Tibetan-populated county in Sichuan province. The incident adds to recent tensions that have seen Tibetans self-immolate to highlight their concerns.

RFA Reports on Tibetan nun self-immolating in protests

Oct. 17 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on a Tibetan nun setting herself ablaze and dying in the first female self-immolation case in recent memory among Tibetans protesting Chinese rule. Tenzin Wangmo, about 20 years old, called for freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader living in exile in India, before succumbing to her burns.

RFA Reports on rare public marking of Zhao Ziyang’s birthday

Oct. 17 – RFA Cantonese and Mandarin aired story [text in English/Cantonese/Mandarin] on disgruntled farmers in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan gathering to mark the birthday of late ousted former premier Zhao Ziyang, often regarded as an advocate for reform.

RFA Reports on disputed authenticity of Uyghur welcoming group

Oct. 17 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on an organization in Pakistan with close ties to the Chinese authorities compelling several Uyghurs and local Pakistanis to attend a welcoming ceremony for China’s public security minister. The move was an apparent bid to portray the Uyghur community in Pakistan as backing Beijing.

RFA Reports on debate over Tibetan self-immolations

Oct. 11 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on China criticizing the Dalai Lama for not denouncing a string of self-immolation protests by Tibetan monks. The criticisms drew an immediate rebuke from the Tibetan government-in-exile that said Beijing’s human rights abuses have sparked the incidents.

RFA Reports on denial of political asylum for Ugyhurs

Oct. 11 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on nearly a dozen Uyghurs in the Netherlands being refused political asylum three or more times. They face intense pressure from Dutch authorities to return to China, where they are likely to face persecution.

RFA Reports on Burma censorship official calling for press freedom

Oct. 7 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on the head of Burma’s powerful state censorship body calling for press freedom in the country. Tint Swe, Director of Burma’s Press Scrutiny and Registration Department, said his own department should be closed down as part of reforms being pursued by the new nominally civilian government. “Press censorship is nonexistent in most other countries, as well as among our neighbors, and as it is not in harmony with democratic practices, press censorship should be abolished in the near future,” he told RFA in a phone interview.

RFA Reports on two Tibetan youths self-immolating

Oct. 7 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on two youths from the Kirti Monastery in a Tibetan region of southwestern Sichuan province setting fire to themselves. At least one of the monks is believed to have died. In recent months, the monastery has seen a huge security crackdown and a number of self-immolation protests.

RFA Reports on Chen supporters chased, detained

Oct. 5 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on the detention of some rights campaigners making an attempt to visit blind Shandong activist Chen Guangcheng, who is under house arrest. One activist was allegedly chased by armed guards during the attempted visit.

RFA Reports on Burma eyeing Indonesia-style democratic transition

Oct. 3 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Burmese President Thein Sein's political adviser saying the country would like to emulate once military-ruled Indonesia’s transition to democracy. This expressed wish also included reference to the process that ended a long-standing insurgency in the northern Indonesian province of Aceh.

RFA Reports on China pressuring Burma over dam interests

Oct. 2 – RFA Burmese aired story [text in English/Burmese] on Beijing asking the Burmese government to protect the interests of Chinese companies whose massive dam project in the Southeast Asian nation was recently put on hold. China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that issues related to the $3.6 billion Myitsone Dam should be “handled appropriately through bilateral friendly consultation.”

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