RFA Reports (September 2013)

2013-10-22
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(Washington, DC — Oct. 1, 2013) Radio Free Asia broadcast the following stories, and more, in September:

RFA Reports on detention of Uyghur web editor

Sept. 30 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on authorities in China’s capital briefly detaining an editor of a well-known Uyghur website on charges of “attempting to escape the country.” Perhat Halmurat, an editor for Uyghur Online, was taken into custody at Beijing International Airport around midnight on Sept. 28, minutes before his scheduled departure to Turkey, he told RFA’s Uyghur Service following his release.

RFA Reports on pledge to protect religious buildings at Myanmar mine site

Sept. 30 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on authorities agreeing not to relocate religious buildings within a construction site at a controversial Chinese-backed copper mine. The decision to hold off on the relocation of the buildings followed a protest march against the Letpadaung copper mine.

RFA Reports on first Tibetan self-immolation in two months
Sept. 28 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on a Tibetan father of two burning himself to death in Sichuan province in protest of Chinese policies. The incident is the first self-immolation in China's Tibetan-populated areas in more than two months.

RFA Reports on Aung San Suu Kyi renewing call to reform charter

Sept. 27 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi marking her party’s founding anniversary with a fresh call to reform the country’s constitution. The Nobel laureate warned that the general elections in 2015 “cannot be fair” without changes to the army-written charter.

RFA Reports on North Korean hydropower project still struggling after 20 years

Sept. 27 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on a hydropower plant in energy-starved North Korea under construction for nearly 20 years being no closer to completion. Sources inside North Korea told RFA that a series of nuclear tests left the project damaged and in need of major repair.

RFA Reports on doubts over open Internet in Shanghai trade zone

Sept. 27 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on China's state-run media appearing to rule out any limited provision of Internet freedom in a Shanghai free trade zone. These indications contradict previous claims that the country's Great Firewall of Internet censorship wouldn't apply there or in a similar zone planned for Shenzhen.

RFA Reports on police raid on Vietnamese dissidents’ dinner

Sept. 26 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on a group of Vietnamese dissidents and their families detailing their experience when police broke up a dinner party at a blogger’s house, violently beating and dragging them away. All eight have been released following the raid on blogger Nguyen Tuong Thuy’s house but are accusing the police of brutality and abusing their legal rights.

RFA Reports on jailing of Myanmar activists over Chinese pipeline

Sept. 26 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on a court in Myanmar's western Rakhine state ordering 10 activists jailed for three months each for participating in a demonstration against a China-backed petroleum pipeline project. The move drew outrage among villagers opposed to the venture.

RFA Reports on revelations of secretly jailed Tibetan writer

Sept. 25 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on Chinese authorities secretly detaining a young Tibetan writer for more than a year for publishing speeches by exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and writings on other Tibetan issues. Lobsang Namgyal, 26, is being held in a detention center in Chengdu, the capital of western China’s Sichuan province, after being taken into custody by Chinese police on May 15, 2012.

RFA Reports on locking up of family of jailed Vietnamese pastor

Sept. 25 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on authorities in Vietnam sealing the gates of the house of jailed prominent Vietnamese activist and Christian pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh, effectively putting his entire family under house arrest. Chinh, pastor of a banned church, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in March last year for "undermining unity" by having ties with anti-government groups and writing and distributing material that “slandered” government authorities.

RFA Reports on execution of Chinese street vendor

Sept. 25 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on Chinese authorities sparking a public outcry after they put to death a street vendor convicted of killing two members of China’s notorious chengguan, or “urban management officials.” The vendor was alleged to have defended himself in an altercation with the chengguan, who, according to sources, initially attacked him.

RFA Reports on Cambodian court acquitting ‘scapegoats’ in labor leader’s murder

Sept. 25 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodia’s Supreme Court acquitting two men it said were wrongly convicted of the 2004 murder of outspoken labor leader and opposition supporter Chea Vichea. The move was widely welcomed by the country’s civil society organizations and the international community, which asserted the men were scapegoats.

RFA Reports on Cambodia’s Hun Sen staging ‘constitutional coup’

Sept. 24 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen dismissing charges of election fraud and pressing ahead with another five-year term in office. Opposition leader Sam Rainsy criticized the move as a "constitutional coup" as his Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) warned of nationwide protests to highlight fraud and other irregularities in the July 28 elections.

RFA Reports on Myanmar ethnic groups calling for union

Sept. 23 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on hundreds of representatives from Myanmar’s ethnic groups and government officials stressing the need for a federal union ahead of a planned nationwide cease-fire agreement. The sentiments were expressed at a landmark conference that included more than 300 attendees from more than 50 different political parties and armed ethnic groups.

RFA Reports on Bo Xilai’s sentencing

Sept. 22 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on China's disgraced political star Bo Xilai being sentenced to life in prison for corruption, embezzlement, and abuse of power in a harsher punishment than many had expected. The sentence, announced by the Intermediate People's Court in eastern Shandong Province's Jinan city, caps the country's biggest political scandal in decades.

RFA Reports on tweet landing Chinese student in custody

Sept. 20 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on a 16-year-old boy in western China’s Gansu province becoming the first person held under new rules against “rumor-mongering” after his tweet accusing local authorities of improper conduct was retweeted more than 500 times. Chinese netizens launched a “Save the Child!” campaign to call for his release after official media reported that the middle-school student, identified only by his surname Yang, is being held for “spreading defamatory messages.”

RFA Reports on meth use spiking in North Korea

Sept. 19 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North Korean drug producers finding a lucrative market at home, especially for methamphetamine.

RFA Reports on detention of Chinese activists en route to UN

Sept. 18 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on Chinese authorities detaining two prominent rights activists who were en route to Geneva ahead of a U.N. review of Beijing's rights record. The activists were to attend a training course at the invitation of a Geneva-based rights group ahead of the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of China on Oct. 22.

RFA Reports on Myanmar monks demanding apology over Saffron Revolution

Sept. 18 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on a demand for an official apology from monks who led Myanmar’s 2007 Saffron Revolution uprising. The monks, marking the six-year anniversary of the violent crackdown, have since refused donations of alms from the military and ceased performing blessings for soldiers.

RFA Reports on shooting of Uyghurs in Chinese ‘anti-terror’ raid

Sept. 17 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on authorities in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region killing up to a dozen Uyghurs and wounding 20 others in a raid on what they said was a "terrorist" facility. Police confirmed the shooting in Poskam county near the Silk Road city of Kashgar.

RFA Reports on jailing of Tibetans for taking down Chinese flags

Sept. 17 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on authorities in western China’s Sichuan province sentencing three Tibetan monks for up to four years for pulling down the Chinese flag and raising the banned Tibetan flag in its place.

RFA Reports on North and South Korea reopening joint economic zone

Sept. 16 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on North and South Korea reopening their joint factory zone after a five-month hiatus. Officials in Seoul remain concerned about the project’s competitiveness, however.

RFA Reports on Cambodia’s parties agreeing to election reforms

Sept. 16 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodia’s ruling and opposition parties agreeing to avoid violence and work together to reform the country’s election process. But Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and opposition leader Sam Rainsy’s Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) remained far apart on addressing opposition claims of widespread voter irregularities in the July 28 polls.

RFA Reports on deadly post-election violence in Cambodia

Sept. 15 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on deadly violence breaking out in Cambodia as tens of thousands protested for the second weekend in a row to back calls for an independent probe into charges of election fraud. Security forces shot dead one protester and wounded several others when they opened fire and used tear gas and water cannons in clashes with supporters of the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party.

RFA Reports on Chinese proposal to reduce smog

Sept. 13 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on key details missing from China's proposed plan to reduce its notorious air pollution problem. Analysts also expressed concerns over the enforcement of sweeping legislation to improve air quality.

RFA Reports on North Korea’s elite shopping at luxury stores

Sept. 13 – RFA Korean aired story [text in English/Korean] on members of North Korea’s privileged inner circle lining up to purchase expensive imported luxury items, leaving stores unable to meet demand. An official of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea from North Hamgyeong province told RFA that the country’s elite class is “going beyond bounds in living a life of luxury” in the capital.

RFA Reports on death sentences for Uyghurs linked to June violence

Sept. 13 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on Chinese authorities sentencing three ethnic Uyghurs to death after linking them to bloody June violence in China’s northwest. The Intermediate People's Court in Turpan Prefecture sentenced Ahmatniyaz Sidiq, Urayim Eli, and Abdulla Esrapil to death for acts of "terrorism."

RFA Reports on jailing of Chinese ‘chengguan’ official over corruption

Sept. 12 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on authorities in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou handing an 11-year jail term to a former official of the widely hated urban management bureau or "chengguan" for corruption.

RFA Reports on Chen Guangcheng’s brother losing Internet access in China

Sept. 11 – RFA Mandarin aired story [text in English/Mandarin] on authorities in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong cutting off the Internet service of the brother of blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng after he traveled to Shanghai to meet with other activists. Chen Guangfu lost his Internet connection on Saturday and currently has no way of contacting his brother, currently a legal scholar in the United States, or his daughter, who is working in another city.

RFA Reports on beating of elderly Tibetan over government criticism

Sept. 11 – RFA Tibetan aired story [text in English/Tibetan] on the detention and beating of an elderly Tibetan who spoke out against a government campaign of “political education” in local villages in Tibet. Sources told RFA the 68-year-old had to be hospitalized due to injuries sustained during the beating by police.

RFA Reports on shooting of Uyghur fruit vendor

Sept. 11 – RFA Uyghur aired story [text in English/Uyghur] on the shooting of a Uyghur fruit-seller following an argument with an urban management enforcement official in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Police confirmed the incident but refused to provide details.

RFA Reports on sentencing of Vietnamese blogger to 15 years in prison

Sept. 11 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on a court in Vietnam’s south-central coastal province of Phu Yen sentencing an online activist to 15 years in prison on charges of plotting to overthrow the country’s one-party communist government.

RFA Reports on stalled compensation for displaced Lao villagers

Sept. 11 – RFA Lao aired story [text in English/Lao] on a proposed dam in Laos displacing more than 100 families of villagers. They have yet to receive the farmland they were promised as compensation from authorities almost seven months ago.

RFA Reports on joint call for security at temples, mosques in Myanmar

Sept. 10 – RFA Myanmar aired story [text in English/Myanmar] on two prominent leaders of Myanmar’s Buddhist and Muslim communities calling for security forces to be posted at mosques and monasteries in a bid to prevent outbreaks of communal violence that have left the country reeling since last year.

RFA Reports on dissident’s 10-year-old daughter fleeing China

Sept. 9 – RFA Mandarin and Cantonese aired story [text in English/Mandarin/Cantonese] on a 10-year-old girl dubbed "China's youngest political prisoner" arriving in the United States after being held under house arrest and denied access to an education. Zhang Anni, daughter of detained veteran dissident Zhang Lin, arrived at San Francisco airport with her sister Ruli after being removed from two schools in the eastern province of Anhui, sparking protests that she was being punished for her father's activism.

RFA Reports on Vietnamese police opening fire on church parishioners

Sept. 4 – RFA Vietnamese aired story [text in English/Vietnamese] on Vietnamese police firing multiple gunshots and lobbing grenades in front of a church as they violently dispersed hundreds of Catholics demanding the release of two parishioners. The incident is one of the bloodiest religious crackdowns in recent years in Vietnam.

RFA Reports on China nuclear plant sparking fears

Sept. 4 – RFA Cantonese aired story [text in English/Cantonese] on China moving forward with its new reactor program, sparking safety fears from environmental groups and local residents who say they lack needed information. Worries have centered on the Taishan nuclear power plant in the densely populated Pearl River Delta in Guangdong province's Taishan city. The plant is currently under construction and slated to begin operation in December.

RFA Reports on calls for release of Cambodian housing rights activist

Sept. 3 – RFA Khmer aired story [text in English/Khmer] on Cambodian and international rights groups renewing calls for the release of Phnom Penh housing rights campaigner Yorm Bopha one year after her arrest.

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