Friday, August 22, 2008

Look ! how CHINA kills democratic forces and blocks information

Look ! how CHINA kills democratic forces and blocks information

Cartoon by: Albert Ashok

Article 19 speaks Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Article 51 of the Olympic Charter obliges the IOC to take "all necessary steps in order to ensure the fullest coverage by the different media and the widest possible audience in the world for the Olympic Games."
PEN American Centre and PEN Canada document deteriorating climate for free expression, call on government to live up to Olympic promises. Three International PEN centers give China a failing grade on free expression one month before the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games on August 8, 2008.
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On August 14, 2008, the IOC spokesperson, Giselle Davies, ended months of IOC silence by saying that the committee "disapproved of any attempts to hinder a journalist who is going about doing his job seemingly within the rules and regulations." Over the past year, the IOC has been provided extensive documentation of such abuses, including physical assaults of journalists, but has not publicly spoken about the issue or challenged theChinese government.

"The IOC's public expression of concern is welcome, but it won't have any effect without real action," said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. "The International Olympic Committee's failure to address this problem highlights the urgent need for mechanisms to prevent further abuses."Since the Games opened on August 8, foreign journalists in Beijing have told Human Rights Watch that surveillance and harassment by security personnel has intensified.

Human Rights Watch demanded to IOC:
- establish a 24-hour hotline in Beijing for foreign journalists to report violations during the course of the games;
- demand that the Chinese government investigate cases of arrests, detentions, and harassment of media and ensure that there will be no further abuses;
- publicly press the Chinese government to disclose the whereabouts of sources who have disappeared after giving interviews to foreign media; and
- investigate all incidents of abuse of foreign journalists and their sources and report on them publicly in China before the opening of the September Paralympics to help avert similar media freedom abuses.
PICTURE OF REPRESSION/TORTURE :
August 13: John Ray, a correspondent for Britain's ITN channel, was arrested as he reported on a small protest near the Bird's Nest Stadium. Ray said he was "bundled away, pushed to the floor and pinned down before being manhandled into the back of a police van." He suffered minor bruises.
August 12: While waiting in line to register at a police post outside Korla, Xinjiang province, an Associated Press journalist and photographer were approached by a policeman wearing a flak jacket and helmet. The policeman pushed the reporter, pointed his assault rifle at him, and declared: "This is Chinese territory. You have to obey the rules." After registering, the journalists returned to their vehicle and continued theirjourney.
On August 12, Zhang's son Mi Yu told the Associated Press that the district court had sentenced Zhang to a month in prison for "disturbing social order" in connection with a small protest Zhang took part in last week in Beijing's Qianmen district with around 20of her former neighbors.
Beijing police arrested Tang Xuecheng in early August when he applied for permission to protest local corruption in his native Hunan province, The Australian newspaper reported on August 12
August 11: British photographer Jack Hill of The Times newspaper was detained for seven hours in Kuqa, Xinjiang province, while trying to cover the aftermath of deadly bombings in the town. Police said that Hill's travel documents - a receipt for the ongoing renewal of his J-2 journalist visa, which immigration police in Beijing assured him would be acceptable to authorities - were inadequate. The Kuqa police threatened Hill with arrest if he attempted to leave the police station for his hotel. Hill was only released after a colleague asked at a Beijing news conference later that day about the justification for Hill's detention.
On August 11, 2008, Ji Sizun, 58, a self-described grassroots legal activist from Fujian province, was arrested. On August 8, Ji had applied to the Deshengmenwai police station in Beijing's Xicheng District for a permit to hold a protest in one of the city's three designated "protest zones." In his application, Ji stated that the protest would call for greater participation of Chinese citizens in political processes, and denounce rampant official corruption and abuses of power. He was arrested after checking back at the police station on the status of his application, witnesses told Human Rights Watch. Since then he has disappeared and remains unreachable on his mobile phone.
August 8: Police detained an Associated Press writer and photographer in Yining, Xinjiang province, for 45 minutes. Police forbade the journalists from using their cell phones, videotaped the two journalists, and deleted images from the photographer's camera.
August 7: The Chinese government denied an entry visa to Radio Free Asia Tibetan service broadcaster Dhondup Gonsar, a US citizen who had already been accredited to cover the Beijing Olympics.
August 7: Police manhandled foreign journalists who covered a small protest by American Christians in Beijing's Tiananmen Square and tried to take the reporters' microphones and notebooks.
On August 7, Zeng Jinyan, the wife of a high-profile human rights activist, ceased to communicate with friends and relatives. Her husband, Hu Jia, was jailed for three and a half years on April 3 on charges of "inciting subversion against the state"
August 6: "Angry and aggressive" uniformed police grabbed and briefly detained ESPN producer Arty Berko while he was attempting to photograph a protest banner erected near the Bird's Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing. After he was released by police, Berko said he was "physically accosted" by plainclothes onlookers apparently angered by his efforts to take photographs at the protest scene.
August 5: Paramilitary troops in Kashgar, Xinjiang province, physically attacked and injured Masami Kawakita, a photographer with the Tokyo Chunichi Sports newspaper, and Shinji Katsuta, a reporter with the Nippon Television Network, as they were attempting to cover the aftermath of the violence which killed 16 policemen in the city the previous day. The journalists' employers, along with the Kyodo news service and several witnesses, said the paramilitaries forcibly removed the two journalists from a public street, beat them and damaged their equipment.
August 4: A group of police and guards forcibly seized the camera of a Hong Kong-based journalist while he and a group of foreign journalists interviewed bystanders adjacent to the scene of a lethal attack earlier that day against border police in Kashgar, Xinjiang.
The virtual protesters are calling for the release of all Olympic prisoners. One such person is human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng. He is renowned for standing up for the likes of the poor, AIDS victims of bad blood, petitioners and Falun Gong. He was taken by Public Security Bureau police in November last year. Gao's family revealed in early August that the attorney spent two months suffering severe torture, including being beaten and having Chinese guards urinating on him.
For talking to foreign journalists more than 30 dissidents the list includes lawyers such as Teng Biao, Li Fangping and Zhang Xingshui; independent intellectuals, such as Liu Xiaobo and Liu Junning; house church activists, such as Zhang Mingxuan; housing rights activists, such as Ye Guozhu; rights activists, such as Li Baiguang and Qi Zhiyong; and relatives of political prisoners, including Yuan Weijing, the wife of blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng, and Jia Jianying, the wife of democracy activist He Depu. All have been warned explicitly by police or state security agents .



"The International Olympic Committee and world leaders who honored Beijing by attending the opening ceremonies shouldn't play deaf, dumb, and blind while people are hauled off for peaceful criticism," said Richardson. "China is suppressing free expression, despite its Olympic pledge not to do so, and the question is whether the rest of the world silently accepts that."
Another dissident is Hu Jia, again a Chinese human rights attorney, was last year imprisoned for 3.5 years, for “subversion” of the States power – the blanket charge used to jail dissidents. The day after the Olympics opening ceremony his wife, Zeng Jinyan, went missing and friends suspect that she has been detained by police.
Police detained five American activists after they unfurled a "free Tibet" banner near a main Olympics venue in Beijing.. The five protesters were taken away by security shortly before midnight for displaying the banner, which outlined "free Tibet" in English and Chinese with tiny blue diodes, near the Beijing National Stadium.
The group identified the activists as Amy Johnson, 33; Sam Corbin, 24; Liza Smith, 31; Jacob Blumenfeld, 26, and Lauren Valle, 21. Their whereabouts were unknown.


Earlier in the day, James Powderly, co-founder of Graffiti Research Lab in New York, was also detained as he prepared to use a handheld green laser to project messages on prominent structures in Beijing.
Powderly's colleague, Nathan Dorjee, said in New York that he received a text message from the artist which said he had been detained around 3 a.m. by police. "He was going to project a message that said, `Free Tibet,' and some other messages that would have been three-stories high in different locations in Beijing," Dorjee said.
Powderly is a well-known New York graffiti artist who projects laser beam "tag" messages onto iconic skyscrapers and other notable structures such as the Brooklyn Bridge. His messages are typically political and often promote freedom of speech and expression.

"The Chinese leadership must realize that the only way it can make the issue of Tibet disappear is to acknowledge the demands of the Tibetan people and work with them to bring an end to China's occupation of Tibet," said Tenzin Dorjee, Deputy Director of Students for a Free Tibet in a statement.
China maintains that the Himalayan region has been part of its territory for centuries, while many Tibetans insist they were an independent nation before communist troops invaded in 1950.


Reporters Without Borders condemns regional variation in the blocking of access to websites in China. The authorities unblocked the sites of certain international news media and NGOs on 1 August 2008 but many of these sites continue to be blocked in the province of Tibet.
"It is no surprise that websites focussing on the issue of Tibet are filtered. But it is unacceptable that Internet users in Tibet do not have access to the same content as Internet users in the rest of China, who are already subject to a significant degree of censorship."

Tsering Woeser, a Chinese writer of Tibetan origin, is often threatened by the Chinese authorities because of what she posts on her blog
( http://woeser.middle-way.net/ ).
She filed a complaint against the government on 23 July for preventing her from travelling abroad. She has been stripped of her rights as a citizen since 2004 on the grounds that she could "put the nation in danger."

Research shows over 50 websites blocked in Beijing and Olympic press center as Games began, including those of several freedom of expression organisations

The Chinese authorities are continuing to jam the Chinese, Tibetan and Uyghur-language broadcast of several international radio Stations. "An international media outcry forced the Chinese government to stop blocking access to websites, but there has been no similar gesture towards the international radio stations such as the BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and Voice of Tibet, which are being jammed within China,"
The Chinese authorities use eight broadcasts from six different points within China (Beijing, Xian, Urumqi, Kashi, Hainan and Fuzhou) to make Voice of Tibet inaudible. Around 100 antennae have been installed in Tibet to jam international radio
broadcasts.

The Olympic motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for "Faster, Higher, Stronger”. The Olympic charter also promotes peace and harmony, which remain illusive in China.



The information in this blog is the sole responsibility of source party, In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit and contact the following offices:
Human Rights Watch, 350 Fifth Ave., 34th Floor, New York, NY 10018-3299, U.S.A., tel: +1 212 290 4700, fax: +1 212 736 1300, e-mail:
http://www.blogger.com/mc/compose?to=hrwnyc@hrw.org, or Washington Office, 1522 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20005-1202, U.S.A., tel: +1 202 371 6592, fax: +1 202 371 0124, e-mail: http://www.blogger.com/mc/compose?to=hrwdc@hrw.org, Internet: http://www.hrw.org/
and Vincent Brossel, RSF, 47, rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris, France, tel: +33 1 44 83 84 70, fax: +33 1 45 23 11 51, e-mail:
asia@rsf.org, Internet: http://www.rsf.org/ and
For Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz at CPJ, 330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA., tel: +1 212 465 1004, fax: +1 212 465 9568, e-mail:
bdietz@cpj.org, mearp@cpj.org, Internet: http://www.cpj.org/

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This web log(blog) is dedicated for ‘Freedom of Expression’, as a means/measure/ manoeuvre of social service, all news and information posted herein, are collected from mostly electronic media/ online (published) news.
maintained and updated by Albert Ashok on behalf of
http://rainbowartistsandwritersfoundation.blogspot.com/ a non-profit artists’ and writers’ organization defends ‘Freedom of Expression’ and ‘Human Rights’. http://newsfreedomofexpression.blogspot.com/
http://freenewsfreespeech.blogspot.com/

If you find any news/information is incorrect/wrong then please bring it to our knowledge for immediate correction, we express our unwilling ignorance and ready to make information correct. email :
rawfoundation@ymail.com Please visit us




Thursday, August 21, 2008

HUMAN DIGNITY AND SECURITY SHOULD BE RESTORED IN NANDIGRAM


HUMAN DIGNITY AND SECURITY SHOULD BE RESTORED IN NANDIGRAM IMMEDIATELY


Cartoon by: Albert Ashok .

Nandigram had descended into lawlessness, political parties and
Communist-led state government are blaming each other, the lives of common
people are at high risk AND DANGER, murder and bloodshed are daily events, it demands higher attention of central government. On 14 march 2007, Fourteen people were killed and more than 70 injured during Wednesday's violence at Nandigram in West Bengal. Since then 'Cold horror' did not stop . The media revealed many criminals sheltered by CPM and the state government were behind to show muscle power and intimidate dissidents in nandi gram. they are unleashing terror. The farmers problems are not resolved. Human rights are violated by the state sponsored cadres- goons. We appeal to the authority to restore Peace and normal life as soon as possible. Nandi gram a village in west bengal state in INDIA.
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This web log(blog) is dedicated for ‘Freedom of Expression’, as a means/measure/ manoeuvre of social service , maintained and updated by Albert Ashok on behalf of All India PEN Center , Kolkata, West bengal and http://rainbowartistsandwritersfoundation.blogspot.com/ a non-profit artists’ and writers’ organization defends ‘Freedom of Expression’ and ‘Human Rights’. http://newsfreedomofexpression.blogspot.com/
http://freenewsfreespeech.blogspot.com/

If you find any news/information is incorrect/wrong then please bring it to our knowledge for immediate correction, we express our unwilling ignorance and ready to make information correct. email : rawfoundation@ymail.com Please visit us

THIS IS BEIJING OLYMPIC 2008.


THIS IS BEIJING OLYMPIC 2008.
Writers and journalists are imprisoned, rest of them face intimidation and torture , TV footage are deleted, News censored, human rights and charter of OLYMPIC are violated, websites blocked. Blog writers face punishment….


Cartoon by: Albert Ashok .

Saturday, August 16, 2008

China has fear of being exposed, this fear makes it blind and deaf

The whole world is watching Olympic Games and ugly and naked image of Chinese authority. But chinese authorities think the rest countries of the world also are blind and deaf as it is. So, authorities are confident about it's suppression of press and internet .
The recent incidents as follow :
Four journalists briefly detained by authorities while trying to cover bomb attacks

"Police and authorities in Xinjiang have repeatedly interfered in journalists' work to try to prevent them from effectively covering the situation there," said IFJ Deputy General Secretary Paco Audije.

IFJ Calls on Chinese Authorities to Respect Press Freedom in Xinjiang
1)
Japanese journalists said they have been barred from covering the aftermath of a series of bomb attacks on Sunday that killed 11 people in Xinjiang. They were detained on Sunday by police officers in Kuqa, in north-west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, when they tried to enter the area on Sunday."They said it was for our own safety," one of the detained journalists said, "but I believe journalists should decide their own safety rather than the authorities." Police deleted photographs his colleague had taken without giving any explanation.At times, authorities use the excuse of protecting journalists' safety to ban them from the area. However, this seems to be a pretext used to stifle press freedom and curb coverage of the bombing." Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun and news wire service JiJi Press, were questioned for hours and then released. A British photographer was also detained by police in the region.

A journalist from Hong Kong told the IFJ that on Monday he was barred from filming at the Kuqa People's Hospital by staff that said he needed permission from Xinjiang's authorities

Last week two Japanese journalists were beaten by police while trying to report on the aftermath of another bomb attack in the region that killed 16 police officers. Other journalists reported that police confiscated or forced journalists to delete film footage and photographs. The IFJ said these practices are a breach of the letter and spirit of China's reporting regulations, issued in 2007, that allow journalists from all countries to report freely including taking photos freely without any interference.

For further information, contact the IFJ Asia-Pacific, tel: +612 9333 0919, or the IFJ, International Press Centre, Residence Palace, Block C, 155 Rue de la Loi, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium, tel: +322 235 2200 / 2207, fax: +322 235 2219, e-mail: http://www.blogger.com/mc/compose?to=rachel.cohen@ifj.org, Internet: http://www.ifj.org/

2)
Teacher sentenced over Internet posting, reporters denied entry to village as heightened security measures impact press freedom.

On 23 July 2008 on Liu Shaokun, a teacher at Guanghan school in Deyang, Sichuan province, got the one-year sentence to reeducation through labor imposed, for posting photos of earthquake-damaged schools on the Internet. Liu was charged with "disrupting the social order" on 25 June after visiting areas in Sichuan that were badly hit by the 12 May earthquake and taking photos of collapsed schools in order to expose "tofu" (poor quality) construction methods. Under Chinese law, officials can impose sentences of
reeducation through work without holding a trial.
"Coming after the arrests of retired teacher Zheng Hongling and human rights activist Huang Qi for providing information about the Sichuan earthquake, Liu Shaokun's sentence is the latest example of post-quake repression," RSF said. "We call for the release of all three, as they are being detained solely because of what they reported."
on 30 July, Agence France Presse journalists were denied access to Shangkumuli, a village in the northwestern region of Xinjiang where a mosque was demolished. When AFP's journalists tried to enter the village, a policeman told them: "This area has been declared closed; you cannot enter." Both the Chinese foreign ministry and officials in Xinjiang refused to respond to AFP's attempts to find out the reasons for the ban.
The official reason for the mosque's demolition was "illegal religious activities" but it has been alleged that it was a reprisal for the lack of support for the Olympic Games among the local population. Xinjiang has a sizable Muslim minority.

The government is seeking "perfect and total security" in Tibet during the Olympic Games in order to prevent any "conspiracy." All security personnel have been mobilised in Tibet and no leave will be given until the games are over. Security around important building and border controls have been stepped up. The authorities are also increasing cooperation with foreign police forces in order to "crush any separatist activities." In Beijing, the controls around prominent places are much stricter. All access routes to Tiananmen Square, including underground ones, are now under surveillance.

On 30 July, a leading US Republican senator, Sam Brownback of Kansas, accused the Chinese government of planning to spy on Olympic Games visitors at the hotels where they stay. He released copies of documents he said were sent to hotels outlining government instructions for installing Internet spying software and hardware by the end of the month. "This means journalists, athletes' families, human rights advocates and other visitors will be subjected to invasive intelligence gathering by the Chinese Public Security Bureau," Brownback said

3)
Journalism impeded by surveillance of journalists, retaliation against Chinese sources; AP and Scandinavian journalists detained, harassed Crackdown continues for Chinese human rights activists, with no Olympic truce during games
The start of the Olympic Games has done nothing to help Chinese human rights activists, who continue to be arrested, watched or threatened. At the same time, incidents involving foreign journalists, including an attack on a British TV reporter working for ITN on 13 August 2008, shows that the security services are still preventing the foreign press from working freely.
On 13 August, John Ray of the British television news service ITN was covering a protest by several foreign activists who unfurled a pro-Tibet banner near Beijing's main Olympic zone. As Ray filmed the protestors, security officers physically restrained him and dragged him into a nearby restaurant, despite the fact that he and Chinese colleagues clearly identified themselves as members of the press. Inside the restaurant, Ray was forced onto a sofa and when he tried to get away he was knocked down by an officer. He was interrogated for about half an hour and then released.
"This was an assault in my mind, I am incredibly angry about this," Ray told Agence France Presse.
"In view of the many incidents, we call on the International Olympic Committee to intercede on behalf of the Chinese citizens who are in danger because of the position they have taken during the Olympic Games," RSF said.
The IOC website has this to say about the Olympic truce in ancient Greece: "During the truce period, the athletes, artists and their families, as well as ordinary pilgrims, could travel in total safety to participate in or attend the Olympic Games and return afterwards to their respective countries. (. . .) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to revive the ancient concept of the Olympic Truce with a view ( . . .) to encourage searching for peaceful and diplomatic solutions to the conflicts around the world."
The Foreign Correspondents Club of China (FCCC) says there have been five incidents since 7 August. In one of these incidents, police arrested two Associated Press reporters in the northwestern province of Xinjiang and erased the photos they had taken. One of them was arrested while watching the opening ceremony on TV. Two Scandinavian journalists were prevented from interviewing peasants in Hebei province about the impact of the games on their activities.
A European journalist who has been working in Beijing for several years has given Reporters Without Borders a gripping description of what it is like for her and her colleagues in Beijing, and the risks run by Chinese who dare to speak to the foreign press."They don't stop following me, filming me and photographing me," she said. "I think twice before interviewing Chinese about sensitive issues for fear that they could be arrested (...) Last week several Chinese were arrested after giving me interviews. Firstly, people living in the Qianmen district that is in the process of being renovated. They included a woman in charge of an association of evicted residents who sued the government for not paying them enough compensation. The trial began in July but was postponed because of the Olympics. I interviewed her, as other journalists did. Sincethen she has been detained."The same thing happened with the pastor of an unrecognised church. Finally, a British woman of Tibetan origin was arrested and expelled after giving me an interview. Under these circumstances, we are all forced to censor ourselves and to refuse to interview certain Chinese for fear of their being immediately arrested. We are all in this situation ofintimidation, which makes it very hard for us to work in China, despite the overall improvements." (. . .)Other Chinese are being hounded by the authorities, who fear they could protest during the games. There has been no news since 7 August of Zeng Jinyan, the wife of imprisoned activist Hu Jia, and their seven-month-old daughter. Her mother in law said to several Chinese-language news outlets say she may has been forced her to leave the capital. She had been under permanent police surveillance for several years in the "Freedom" residential area where she lives.Several members of the outlawed China Democracy Party were arrested in the days preceding the games opening ceremony. According to Chinese Human Rights Defenders, Xie Changfa of Hunan province was arrested on 2 August, while Wang Rongqing, 65, of Zhejiang province was arrested on 31 July. They have been charged with inciting subversion of state authority.

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), New York,it’s website blocked at Olympic press centers CPJ calls on the Chinese authorities to provide the free Internet access they promised foreign reporters when they were awarded the Games. Joel Simon, CPJ's executive director said, "China's press freedom record is an integral part of the Olympic story, and yet journalists working in the official press centers are being deniedinformation essential to their reporting." They blocked Amnesty. and cpj.org,"
Chinese authorities frequently limit access to sensitive material online through a combination of sophisticated filtering technology and manpower, as government employees literally comb the Web for information that might put the leadership or its policies in a critical light. Internet access is consequently subject to change, and censorship tactics can be hard to pinpoint. Media outlets have used proxy servers,altered Internet addresses, or other strategies to tunnel around the firewall and gain access to banned sites. IOC president Jacques Rogge stuck to the official position on August 2. "There has been no deal whatsoever to accept (Internet) restrictions. Our requirements . . . remain unchanged since the IOC entered into a host city contract with Beijing in 2001," he said, according to another AP report. IOC Communications Director Giselle Davies told CPJ on August 1 that the IOC would continue to demand "as open access as possible" for journalists heading to China this month. On August 9, Davies suggested that reportersraise Internet problems directly with local organizers, according to The Associated Press.

SOURCE: International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Brussels
Reporters sans frontières (RSF), Paris

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This web log(blog) is dedicated for ‘Freedom of Expression’, as a means/measure/ manoeuvre of social service, all news and information posted herein, are collected from mostly electronic media/ online (published) news. The source party/ or the name who has the credit of the news shoulders all responsibility of the concerned news have been mentioned along with the posted/published news at bottom of every news, maintained and updated by Albert Ashok on behalf of http://rainbowartistsandwritersfoundation.blogspot.com/ a non-profit artists’ and writers’ organization defends ‘Freedom of Expression’ and ‘Human Rights’. http://newsfreedomofexpression.blogspot.com/
http://freenewsfreespeech.blogspot.com/

If you find any news/information is incorrect/wrong then please bring it to our knowledge for immediate correction, we express our unwilling ignorance and ready to make information correct. email : rawfoundation@ymail.com Please visit us

Friday, August 8, 2008

China: the Sacrifice of the Olympic Spirit

China: the Sacrifice of the Olympic Spirit
Dr. Agnes Callamard, ARTICLE 19 Executive Director


The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is deeply concerned that Dhondup Gonsar, an American citizen of Tibetan ethnicity who works for the U.S. government-funded broadcaster Radio Free Asia (RFA), has not yet received press accreditation from Olympic organizers that would allow him to enter China to cover the Olympic Games, which begin Friday.
Gonsar and Radio Free Asia officials in Washington have told CPJ that RFA was informed in writing by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in July 2007 that RFA had been allocated two sets of press credentials by the IOC, but only received one, for RFA's Mandarin-service reporter. The RFA Mandarin reporter, Jill Ku Martin, has been allowed to enter the country, RFA officials said.

They said that even though the IOC has said it has passed along Gonsar's credentials to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, neither have followed through on issuing the Olympic Identity and Accreditation Card that serves as both an identity card and an entry visa.

"We call upon the IOC and China to resolve this issue quickly so that Dhondup Gonsar can travel to Beijing to cover the Games," said Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia program coordinator.

Gonsar is currently in a hotel in Hong Kong, waiting for his papers to enter China. "The IOC has promised RFA that two of our reporters could cover the Games. I don't understand why I have not gotten my IOC accreditation and am not allowed to cover the Games," Gonsar told CPJ. "Maybe it has something to do with my ethnicity as a Tibetan." China tightened visa restrictions earlier this year for tourists and for journalists who have not been accredited by the IOC to enter China. visit : http://www.cpj.org/






China: the Sacrifice of the Olympic Spirit
Dr. Agnes Callamard, ARTICLE 19 Executive Director
The Chinese government has broken its promises to improve human rights standards in the run up to the 2008 Olympic Games. China won the right to host the 2008 Olympics in 2001 based largely - at least so we were told - on its human rights pledges. In particular it promised "no restrictions on media reporting and movement of journalists up to and including the Olympic Games."

However, as the Olympic Games have drawn closer, the integrity of the promise has faded. Not only have promises been broken, the human rights situation has actually deteriorated on this last leg of the Olympic preparation. Over these last 12 months, human rights organisations, including ARTICLE 19, have documented what amounts to an acceleration in human rights violations, including in censorship and attacks on media freedom, crackdown against Chinese human rights defenders and Tibetans protestors and so on.

To many of us within the human rights community, it seems that human rights, including freedom of expression, have been sacrificed on the altar of corporate sponsorship and market share; a sacrifice presided over by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Ultimately it is the Chinese government that is directly responsible of course and accountable for its broken promises and for the violations of human rights it has committed in the countdown to the Olympics (and is likely to commit during the event itself and in its aftermath).
But it is the IOC's quiet, callous if not cynical disregard for human rights, which should be highlighted as well. Their quiet diplomacy – an approach the IOC President has claimed the Committee was using – has amounted to opaque, unaccountable and ineffective diplomacy. And this should never have been an option for the international body responsible globally for upholding the Olympic spirit: human dignity cannot be promoted by keeping quiet.

The potential impact of their speaking out was well demonstrated in the last week of July when dissenting voices within the IOC finally went public over China's attempt to censor foreign journalists' access to Internet. Ultimately, when confronted with the increasing public uproar and, most importantly, with the evidence that the IOC's polished silence would not stretch to this indignity, Chinese authorities had to back down and open
uncensored Internet access, at least as far as English websites are concerned (the same openness though has not so far characterised websites in Mandarin). It is a clear demonstration that if the IOC - or rather at least some of its more courageous spokespersons - dares to speak up, it does work, some things do move.

Surely the same approach should be adopted by the Heads and Representatives of states who will attend the Games' opening and closing ceremonies in Beijing. The Olympic Games are a unique opportunity for the world to build and manifest mutual understanding, friendship, solidarity and fair play. But these objectives only ring hollow if human rights abuses are not publicly denounced, if calls for their immediate cessation are not issued and if in-depth reforms are not publicly advocated.

High-level representatives attending the Beijing Olympics have a duty to speak out against the continued abuse of freedom of expression in the country and in particular in the context of China's preparations and delivery of the Beijing Olympics.

No celebration of fair play and human dignity, even through sport, is ever achieved in the face of abuse through silence, silencing and bullying.

And, let's all make sure that this harmful precedent set by China and the IOC is never replicated and that London 2012 stands out as a true, vibrant and loud celebration of the Olympic Spirit.
visit : http://www.article19.org/



This web log(blog) is dedicated for ‘Freedom of Expression’, as a means/measure/ manoeuvre of social service, all news and information posted herein, are collected from mostly electronic media/ online (published) news. The source party/ or the name who has the credit of the news shoulders all responsibility of the concerned news have been mentioned along with the posted/published news at bottom of every news, maintained and updated by Albert Ashok on behalf of http://rainbowartistsandwritersfoundation.blogspot.com a non-profit artists’ and writers’ organization defends ‘Freedom of Expression’ and ‘Human Rights’. http://newsfreedomofexpression.blogspot.com/
http://freenewsfreespeech.blogspot.com/
If you find any news/information is incorrect/wrong then please bring it to our knowledge for immediate correction, we express our unwilling ignorance and ready to make information correct. email : rawfoundation@ymail.com Please visit us




Olympic 2008 in CHINA: A document of human rights violation



Olympic 2008 in China: A document of human rights violation

Journalists who encounter problems reporting in China should call the CPJ hotline at +852 6717 0591 and follow daily coverage of media issues during the Olympics on the CPJ blog.

This is an overview of a bunch published reports on China Olympic 2008

The Communist Party officials of Beijing have some definite ideas to confront public dissent and protest. They remain calm and quiet, unperturbed by the allegation of international organizations. It is clear from their appearance, administration, and campaign that they are least bothered by the allegation of international communities. The Guardians of ‘Human Rights’ and ‘Freedom of Expression’ allege that Chinese authorities have violated the charter of Olympic Games.

In filing its official bid the organizers of the Beijing Games were clear-cut when they were involved in the competitive bid process to host the Games in January 2001, Beijing organizers told the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that "there will be no restrictions on journalists" reporting the Olympics. No distinction was made between local and international journalists in this or other public assurances.
Article 51 of the Olympic Charter obliges the IOC to take "all necessary steps in order to ensure the fullest coverage by the different media and the widest possible audience in the world for the Olympic Games." But at present they have retrograde of their promises this is an allegation brought by the international communities. And it is confirmed by the IOC, China's promise in its evaluation of competing cities' bids, that "it was confirmed to the Commission that there will be no restrictions on media reporting." When they were assigned on13 July 2001.

At the time of bidding ‘the 2008 summer Olympic Games’ in 2001, seven years ago, the Chinese police were intensifying a crackdown on subversive elements, including Internet users and journalists. Seven years later, their promise on freedom of expression did not reflect in their attitude, they remained the same. Despite the absence of any significant progress in free speech and human rights in China, the IOC’s members continue to turn a deaf ear to repeated appeals from international organisations that condemn the scale of the repression. This situation is unacceptable and reflects the IOC’s inability to guarantee a favourable environment for the games in accordance with the Olympic Charter. the organisers of the Beijing Olympic Games and the International Olympic Committee are reneguing from their promise.



In 2001, the Chinese government promised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that it would respect free expression in the run-up to the Beijing Games. In May 2007, the government announced new freedoms for accredited foreign journalists in the "Service Guide for Foreign Media". The temporary regulations, in effect from January 1, 2007 until October 17, 2008, allow foreign journalists to freely conduct interviews with any consenting Chinese organization or citizen. The regulations do not allow similar freedoms for Chinese journalists.
The Olympic Charter says sport must be “at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.” Athletes and sports lovers have the right and the duty to defend this charter. The IOC should show some courage and should do everything possible to ensure that Olympism’s values are not freely flouted by the Chinese organisers.
No Olympic Games without democracy!

Freedom of expression: Limited in designated zones
The Chinese government have left some space for public protests inside three designated city parks during Olympic Games, but demonstrators must first obtain permits from the local police and also abide by Chinese laws that usually make it nearly impossible to legally picket over politically charged issues.

No one can review activities in advance before it takes place, so it is not beyond doubt that generous authority will not use its tricks. What does it mean when one say there will be given space for public grievance a ‘Designating special protest zones’. To us it’s clear that Chinese Government is showing the world its civilized mask, hiding behind an ugly face. The promise of allowing free speech and movement became a farce!
We have been watching for long its policy for writers, journalists, bloggers and other dissidents. Many international organization are displaying their protest against the confinement of journalists and writers but indifferent Chinese officials are not changing their repressive manner towards public dissent and protest. So reviewing the content of the expressive activity and allowing public dissent and grievance never expresses the simplicity and sincerity of Chinese Government toward freedom of expression which Chinese government vowed regarding Olympic games.


The then deputy Prime Minister Li Lanqing said, four days after the IOC vote in 2001, that “China’s Olympic victory” should encourage the country to maintain its “healthy life” by combatting such problems as the Falungong spiritual movement, which had “stirred up violent crime.” Several thousands of Falungong followers have been jailed since the movement was banned and at least 100 have died in detention.
Vice-President Hu Jintao (now president) to argue that after the Beijing “triumph,” it was “crucial to fight without evasion against the separatist forces propelled by the Dalai Lama and the world’s anti-China forces.” In the west of the country, where there is a sizeable Muslim minority, the authorities in Xinjiang province executed Uyghurs for “separatism.”
Violation of promise: A document
It is recorded 24 cases of journalists, cyber-dissidents or free expression activists being arrested or sentenced to jail terms since the start of the year, at least 80 foreign journalists have been obstructed in the course of their work, above all in the Tibetan regions and in Sichuan.Around 30 journalists and 50 Internet users are currently detained in China. Some of them since the 1980s.
China’s blog services incorporate all the filters that block keywords considered “subversive” by the censors. The law severely punishes “divulging state secrets,” “subversion” and “defamation” - charges that are regularly used to silence the most outspoken critics. Although the rules for foreign journalists have been relaxed, it is still impossible for the international media to employ Chinese journalists or to move about freely in Tibet and Xinjiang.

Last year the arrest of leading activist Hu Jia in late December, and the start of this year was marked by his sentence to three and a half years in prison. and at least 23 other journalists, online writers and free speech activists have been arrested or sentenced to prison terms.
The release of Ching Cheong and Yu Huafeng, do not necessarily mean the good will of Chinese authority, still they have taken no account of the fact that the health of Zhang Jianhong, a writer better known as Li Hong, and Yang Maodong, a writer better known Guo Feixiong, has deteriorated in prison.
Web sites. Journalist Sun Lin was sentenced to four years in prison on June 26.

The terrible earthquake in Sichuan has not helped to reduce the repression either. Journalist Qi Chonghuai was sentenced to four years in prison the day after the quake. And Huang Qi, a well-known activist who has a human rights website, was arrested on 10 June for reporting the arrest of a person who had been writing accounts of the quake and its aftermath

the public security and state security departments in order to intimidate human rights activists who might try to speak out before or during the games are on the prowl. They stepping on all sorts of voices and increased the harassment of activists who talk to the foreign news media or write articles for overseas.
The Chinese government continues to block and threaten foreign journalists despite repeated promises to lift media freedom restrictions in a report released by Human Rights Watch.
The Chinese government has prohibited local Chinese-language media from publishing unflattering news, leaving foreign media as the only source of factual reporting about a wide range of crucial issues in China today. But systematic surveillance, obstruction, intimidation of sources, and pressure on local assistants are hobbling foreign correspondents' efforts to pursue investigative stories.

"Proponents and critics of the Beijing Games agreed on one thing – that fewer restrictions for international media and scrutiny of China at this time would constitute progress," said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. But they, Chinese government – and International Olympic Committee, jointly, on the contrary, impedeing the progress.
The 71-page report, "China's Forbidden Zones: Shutting the Media out of Tibet and Other 'Sensitive' Stories," draws on more than 60 interviews with correspondents in China between December 2007 and June 2008. It exposes how foreign correspondents and their sources were facing intimidation and obstruction by government officials or their proxies when they pursue stories that can embarrass the authorities, documents official wrongdoing, or reveal social unrest.
In September 2007, senior Reuters correspondent Chris Buckley was attacked and confined by plainclothes thugs after interviewing rural citizens who had come to Beijing seeking redress for abuses committed by local authorities who were held at an illegal detention facility in Beijing. very recently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has refused to investigate death threats made against more than 10 correspondents and their family members in March and April 2008 as Some journalists have suffered serious threats to their lives or safety. Another incident, a European television news journalist suffered similar treatment while trying to report on unrest in Hebei province.

China is also threatening to restrict entry to news organizations that do not toe the line.
In November 2007, a foreign cable news network that had publicly complained about previous harassment and detention by Anhui province officials was informed by a Chinese foreign ministry official that its accreditation to cover the Olympic Games was in jeopardy.

Many news organizations are complaining difficulties in obtaining visas and accreditation of the Games, and several have begun to publicly voice concerns about restricted access to venues such as Tiananmen Square. "Journalists who try to report objectively on the complex realities of modern China are facing real risks” said Richardson
The high-level corruption, ethnic conflicts, social unrest, public health crises, and the workings of China's large detention system, including prisons, labor camps, mental hospitals, and police stations these are the realities in china pose danger to the reporters.

On June 3, police forcibly dragged an Associated Press reporter and two photographers away from the scene of a protest by the parents of student victims. It remains unclear whether foreign correspondents will be able to report growing public demands for accountability.

In Tibetan areas news remains difficult to report. Although the government announced on June 26 that it would reopen Tibet to foreign journalists, it has specified that "previous procedures" will apply. The specified procedures are virtually Impossible. The Tibetans are tight lipped to approaching reporters with important information and much cautious about the fear of retribution for talking to foreign journalists resulting correspondents or reporters unable to verify the origins of the protests or determine how many were ultimately killed, injured, or arrested.

Officials are trying to undermine foreign journalists by intimidating their more vulnerable Chinese sources. In several cases, officials were interrogating them focused on obtaining the names, mobile phone numbers and locations of their local sources. One source for a foreign television journalist was beaten so badly that he required intensive medical attention; after his release, he was placed under house arrest. Other foreign correspondents spoke of sources' subsequently being fired from their respective jobs or being threatened - sometimes with criminal charges - by local authorities. Even licensed international broadcasters have doubts about whether they will be able to report freely. Hein Verbruggen, a senior International Olympic Committee (IOC) official, acknowledged these anxieties in Beijing.









At a press conference marking the opening of the media centers, the local Olympic organizing committee's media head, Sun Weijia, told journalists that live broadcasts would be allowed from the streets of Beijing, including Tiananmen Square, during the Games. Sun's comments appeared intended to allay concerns that live transmissions could be obstructed. Sun denied knowledge of an incident last week in which Chinese police interrupted a live interview by a German broadcaster, according to an official transcript of the press conference. The transcript does not detail the incident, although AP said police had blocked a ZDF interview at the Great Wall.

CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. "That said, we remain dismayed by the repressive conditions under which our Chinese colleagues continue to work. The censorship, imprisonment, and harassment of domestic journalists are the fundamental issues that should be resolved."
the rules, which apply throughout China, were ignored by government officials when journalists tried to cover unrest in Tibetan areas of western China in March 2008, CPJ research shows.
The Reporters Without Borders list of nine things the Chinese authorities must do before the Beijing Olympic Games:
1. Release all journalists and Internet users detained in China for exercising their right to information.
2. Abolish for ever the restrictive articles in the Foreign Correspondents Guide that limit the media’s freedom of movement and work.
3. Disband the Publicity Department (the former Propaganda Department), which exercises daily control over content in the Chinese press.
4. End the jamming of foreign radio stations.
5. End the blocking of thousands of news and information websites based abroad.
6. Suspend the “11 Commandments of the Internet,” which lead to content censorship and self-censorship on websites.
7. End the blacklisting of journalists and human rights activists, which prevents them from visiting China.
8. Lift the ban on Chinese media using foreign news agency video footage and news reports without permission.
9. Legalize independent organisations of journalists and human rights activists.


Reporter C. M. Yeung, of Hong Kong-based Now TV, was reportedly attacked by bystanders on July 24 while filming an argument among people queueing to buy tickets for Olympic events. A group of uniformed police in the area refused to intervene to assist the reporters, and instead demanded that the journalists delete all footage of the incident as well as sign a form agreeing that the matter was now closed.In another incident on July 25, journalist F. C. Law, of Hong Kong's Cable News TV, was reportedly grabbed by police and pushed to the ground after a scuffle in Beijing. Law suffered bruising to his neck. A cameraman from TVB, another Hong Kong broadcaster, attempted to film the incident but police forcefully confiscated the footage. Felix Wong, a photographer for the South China Morning Post, was detained by police during the same incident. The scuffle broke out after police told media personnel that they had strayed outside the permitted reporting zone. Wong told the IFJ, "We were confused by the arrangements because the police kept changing the so-called reporting area."


IOC officials met with local organizers on Thursday and asked them to address the wide international outcry that surfaced when the Internet censorship became apparent earlier this week, IOC Communications Director Giselle Davies told CPJ in an interview today. Since that meeting, "a number of sites have opened up," Davies said.
Amnesty International's main Web site was accessible from the Main Press Center, a site the organization set up to promote debate about human rights in China remained blocked, Agence France-Presse reported. The BBC's Chinese-language Web site was sometimes available, but searches for the banned spiritual organization Falun Gong produced blank pages, The Associated Press reported.

A commentary published by the official Xinhua News Agency, (Xinhua, China's state-controlled news agency.) which typically reflects the government viewpoint, called press freedom a "relative concept." The piece went on to say that "the principal reason for
blocking a few sites is that they disseminate topics that violate Chinese law."

Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported today that police in Kashgar dragged Masami Kawakita, a photographer from the Chunichi Shimbun newspaper's Tokyo headquarters, and Shinji Katsuta, a reporter for Nippon Television Network's China general bureau, from a spot near the explosions that killed 16 police officers on Monday. (The Associated Press reported Kawakita's first name as Shinzou.) The blasts have been described as a terrorist attack. The two journalists suffered slight injuries police forcibly disrupted the Japanese journalists' reporting activities and took them to a room in a nearby hotel, and beat them before releasing them two hours later

Foreigners Protest for Tibetan Independence in Beijing
Four demonstrators were arrested by Chinese authorities in Beijing on Wednesday, Aug. 6, after scaling 120-foot (36.6-meter) light posts near the center of the Olympic park and displaying banners calling for a Tibet free from Chinese rule.
According to police, the group gathered at the Beichen Bridge near the central stadium, known as the Bird's Nest, which will host to Friday's opening ceremony. Chinese officials have enforced a strict ban on any public support for the Tibetan independence movement. Beijing Games spokesman Sun Weide told reporters that China has rules on "assemblies" and expects foreigners to respect them.

Reporters Without Borders condemns an increase in measures aimed at preventing Beijing-based human rights activists from talking to the foreign media. "These measures unfortunately recall those adopted by the Soviet police during the 1980 Olympics Games, when dissidents were forced to leave Moscow," the press freedom organisation said.
the authorities have advised several dissidents and intellectuals living in Beijing to "take a trip" during the games or risk being placed under house arrest. Dissident Qi Zhiyong has been forced to leave the city with his daughter. His mobile phone has been confiscated and he will be kept under close surveillance during his "trip." Qi nonetheless possesses a "hukou," a permit to reside in Beijing.
Hong Qisheng is another dissident who has warned by the police but he has refused to leave Beijing. His wife said: "My husband received a call from the police, asking him to leave the city. I think it is because of the Olympic Games. The police asked us to return to our province of origin during the games but we said we would not go. The police then threatened to arrest my husband. Hong challenged the authorities and wanted to stay in Beijing."
Zhang Zuxian, an intellectual, has received similar threats. He told a Radio Free Asia journalist: "We must stay, for freedom's sake. It is illegal and costly to act like this. It is like throwing money out of the window. Some of my friends have already been arrested while others have been expelled from the capital. We are not wanted for any crime and we are not terrorists. The police are using archaic methods."
. Zeng Jinyan, the wife of imprisoned human rights activist Hu Jia, has been asked by the police, who watch her night and day, not to contact her friends or the media any more. The authorities have also advised her to take a trip during the games.
Reporters from Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) told the IFJ that they were approached by police in Beijing's Chongwen District on July 30 after the police discovered them filming a citizen appealing against the government's acquisition of his land in the appeals department of Chongwen District People's Government.
An RTHK camera operator, who requested that his full name be withheld, said that police demanded he stop filming. He asked police under what law they could prohibit him from filming, but was given no answer.
The camera operator also reported that the police took photographs of himself and a fellow reporter without giving reasons. When leaving the area, police then warned the two media workers to "be careful".
"We felt a bit of insecure because we were within their region, we couldn't guarantee what they would do to us, and at the same time we are quite worried about being followed," one of the journalists told the IFJ.

Reuters reported that its correspondent in Kashgar, Emma Graham-Harrison, was driven away from the attack scene by baton-wielding policemen. China's Foreign Ministry offered its apologies to Kawakita and Katsuta. Xinhua reported that the Kashgar border police and the local foreign affairs department also apologized, and that police will pay for the repairs to their equipment.


After Beijing was awarded the games in 2001, Harry Wu, a Chinese dissident who spent 19 years in prisons in China, said he deeply regretted that China did not have “the honour and satisfaction of hosting the Olympic Games in a democratic country.”
"The Olympic values have been betrayed by the Chinese government," said Tim Hancock, Amnesty's UK campaigns director. "They must release all imprisoned peaceful activists, allow foreign and national journalists to report freely and make further progress towards the elimination of the death penalty - or risk permanently sullying the legacy of the Olympics."
But according to the Amnesty report, the authorities have extended the use of imprisonment without trial - a legal measure called "re-education through labour", and other means to keep protesters and activists out of sight in the run-up to the Games.
It also alleges that the country still uses the death penalty for 68 criminal offences, including a number of non-violent crimes


PEN American Centre and PEN Canada document deteriorating climate for free expression, call on government to live up to Olympic promises:

Three International PEN centers give China a failing grade on free expression one month before the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games on August 8, 2008.

In full view of the international community, the climate for freedom of expression in China has measurably deteriorated over the past year, PEN American Center, PEN Canada, and the Independent Chinese PEN Center were following the cases 51 writers, 44 of whom are still in prison. A grinding, relentless campaign to jail or silence prominent dissident voices and new and brazen efforts to control domestic and international press." China is failing its promises, we are asking the world to join us in holding the Chinese government to its pledges.


- there are more writers and journalists in Chinese prisons than there were seven months ago;
- dissident writers and journalists not in prison face serious restrictions on their movements and on their ability to speak and publish freely;
- Internet censorship and other laws such as subversion and inciting separatism or splittism are regularly used to deny the universally-guaranteed right to freedom of expression;
- China's promises to allow media to report freely throughout China have been undermined by its attempts to manage international coverage from Tibet and earthquake-affected areas and by its refusal to extend any new protections whatsoever to Chinese journalists.

The report recommends that the Chinese government:
- release all writers and journalists currently imprisoned and stop detaining, harassing, and censoring writers and journalists in China;
- end Internet censorship, and reform laws used to imprison writers and journalists and suppress freedom of expression; and
- abide by its pledge that "there will be no restrictions on media reporting and movement of journalists up to and including the Olympic Games."


In addition, the report urges that all nations participating in the Olympic Games press the Chinese government to act on these recommendations and secure clear assurances that no Chinese citizens, Chinese or foreign journalists, athletes or spectators will be detained or otherwise prevented from expressing their views peacefully during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
Yu Zhang of the Independent Chinese PEN Center stressed that fostering respect for basic rights is essential for China's future. "In the end, it is not by staging a successful Olympic Games, but by honoring these commitments that China's slogan 'One World, One Dream' will become true," Zhang said.


Less than three weeks before the Olympic Games open in Beijing, Chinese authorities have re-arrested writer, former political prisoner, and PEN member Du Daobin and filed formal charges against writer and human rights activist Huang Qi.
PEN centers inside and outside China denounced the moves, and called on the international community to pressure the government to end its "blatant attacks against free expression."
Du Daobin, a writer arrested at the Healthcare Reform Office of Yingcheng City, Hubei Province, where he works as a professional clerk. Later, as many as eight police officers from the Public Security Bureaus of Xiaogan City and Yingcheng City searched his home and confiscated computers and written materials, He is apparently accused of violating the terms of his sentence by publishing more than 100 articles on the Internet, leaving the city, and receiving guests without permission from the police. His whereabouts arecurrently unknown. Du's arrest follows the news that formal charges have been pressed against human rights activist and writer Huang Qi. Huang, the director of the Tianwang Human Rights Center, was detained on June 10, 2008. On July 18, when his family arrived at the Chengdu Public Security Bureau's Wuhou Sub-division looking for information about his situation, they discovered that he was being formally arrested for "illegal possession of state secrets." Huang is being held incommunicado at the Chengdu City Detention Center, where he is being denied legal counsel on the grounds that his case involves "state secrets."
Norwegian PEN is both shocked and provoked to learn that the Embassy of the People's Republic of China has refused to issue a visa to renowned China-scholar and translator Harald Bockman, consequently denying him entry to China during the Beijing Olympics. "We find this decision unacceptable, in particular since Mr. Bockman did not plan to spend any time attending the games, but merely follow up on his work as a translator and academic", says Norwegian PEN secretary general, Carl Morten Iversen. Mr. Bockman planned a trip to China for meetings with Chinese scholars to discuss the translation into Chinese of Norwegian poet Olav H. Hauge, participation at a seminar during the World Conference for Translators in Shanghai and guiding a party of 20 Norwegian translators on a trip to Guilin, Chengdu and Xi'an. Mr. Bockman planned to spend the last two days
of his journey - August 17 - 19 - in Beijing. The mere notion that Mr. Bockman represents a security risk during the Beijing Olympics is meaningless and warrants an
unreserved apology from Chinese authorities.

Miscellany:
Swimmer Mark Foster to be British Olympic team flag carrier - By Richard Alleyne
Two years ago his swimming career was in tatters after another row with his coaches persuaded him it was time to "retire" from the sport. Now after qualifying for his fifth Games he has been given the ultimate honour by his team-mates - to be their flag bearer at the opening ceremony . Foster, who made his Olympic debut at Seoul in 1988, was expelled from the Olympic Village in Sydney 12 years later for wearing a rival sponsor's swimsuit. His Olympic comeback was assured when he set a new personal best and British record of 21.96 seconds in the 50 metre freestyle this year.
Despite no Olympic medals, Foster, who is 6ft 6in tall and originally from Billericay, Essex, is one of our more successful swimmers . During his career, he has set five world records, seven European records, nine Commonwealth records and 19 British records.

Amanda Beard holds a poster of herself posing naked for an anti-fur campaign Photo: EPA
Ms Beard, a double Olympic Champion, posed for a nude picture as part of a publicity campaign run by the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The swimmer, who is no stranger to showing a little skin - she posed naked for a centerfold in Playboy Magazine last year - said she was determined to use the Olympic platform as a stage for her views.
"What happens with animals when their skin is ripped from their bodies when they are still alive, it's heartbreaking for me," she told reporters.
The Chinese authorities did their best to limit the impact of her protest, shutting down a press conference which PETA had planned on the terrace of a hotel overlooking the 'Water Cube' Olympic swimming venue.
After police turned organisers away from the hotel citing 'safety concerns', Ms Beard was forced to present her message from the side of the main road outside the Athlete's Village.
"It was very disappointing," said Jason Baker, PETA's Asia-Pacific director, "We weren't making a political attack on the Chinese government and had sent our press release in advance to the Beijing Committee, but apparently that was not enough."

The slaughter of dogs in China: The one-dog policy instituted in China was far from a limited campaign–though I just read that due to protests the dog cull was halted in December. But for the record, this is what had happened prior to December 06.
AP reported about the Yunnan campaign: “In one county in the southwestern province of Yunnan, where three people had died of rabies, authorities killed 50,000 dogs, many of them beaten to death in front of their owners.”
Beijing banned households from owning more than one dog or dogs over 14 inches in height
Another owner had his Labrador retriever taken away Wednesday because she was too big. ‘She is a very amicable dog. She never barked,



Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz About The Origin Of Olympic
In ancient times, sports originated as peacetime rivalries between warriors. Running, boxing, wrestling, chariots racing were all elements of their military training and the best of them demonstrated their skills in competitive games.

The ancient Olympics, during which the warrior-sportsmen proved their skills, were held for more than 1,200 years.
The first confirmed Olympics took place in 776 B.C., while the last were held in 394 A.D, after which they were banned by the Roman Emperor Theodosius because, he said, they were pagan festivals. For a millennium and a half, mankind forgot about sports.

The ancient tradition was revived only in the late 19th century, when Europe once again came to perceive itself as a common civilisation. A French nobleman, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, was the author of the idea.
He pursued two goals - to make sports more popular at home (he believed that poor physical shape of French soldiers was one of the reasons for the defeat in the 1870-71 war with Prussia), and to unite different countries through peaceful competitions, which he considered the best way of avoiding wars.

The first modern Olympic games were held in Athens in 1896. In the following decades the Olympic movement had to fight for survival, because none of the major powers was interested in Courbertin's ideas.
As a complicated social and political phenomenon, big-time sports emerged in the 1930s when the Third Reich tried to use the Berlin Games to prove the 'Aryan race's supremacy' to the whole world.
This phenomenon became fully established in the 1950s, when Soviet-US competition was transferred to the sports ground. From then on, the idea of sports independent of politics ceased to exist.
Sports were not only subject to politics, but became a major part of it. The superpowers could not afford an open armed clash and Olympics and other international arenas became the only places where the confrontation between Soviet Union and the US, could be fought in real time.
John F. Kennedy said that two things determined a nation's prestige - space flights and Olympic gold medals.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
source: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Brussels
Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK)
Reporters sans frontières (RSF), Paris
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Norwegian PEN, PEN American Center, PEN Canada, and the Independent Chinese PEN
THE INTERNATIONAL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSIONEXCHANGE (IFEX)
Amnesty International
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
This web log(blog) is dedicated for ‘Freedom of Expression’, as a means/measure/ manoeuvre of social service, all news and information posted herein, are collected from mostly electronic media/ online (published) news. The source party/ or the name who has the credit of the news shoulders all responsibility of the concerned news have been mentioned along with the posted/published news at bottom of every news, maintained and updated by Albert Ashok on behalf of http://rainbowartistsandwritersfoundation.blogspot.com/ a non-profit artists’ and writers’ organization defends ‘Freedom of Expression’ and ‘Human Rights’.If you find any news/information is incorrect/wrong then please bring it to our knowledge for immediate correction, we express our unwilling ignorance and ready to make information correct. email : rawfoundation@ymail.com Please visit us



Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hello, Uzbekistan! How are you?




Hello, Uzbekistan! How are you?
Let us wish you the best ...

Jamshid Karimov. Photo by Ferghana.Ru

Dzamshid (Jamshid ) Karimov (born in 1967) is a freelance journalist, He is the nephew of Uzbek President Islam Karimov. His mother, Margarita, His father’s name is Arsalan, who died in a car crash 17 years ago in 1991(1989?).
He has worked in the city of Jizzakh for the London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting, and for various independent journals and websites, including the Almaty-based online newspaper Liter and the Moscow-based Central Asia news website centrasia.ru and Ferghana.ru, under the pseudonym Andrei Nazarov. He is known for being an outspoken critic of the government, and for his reporting on socio-political issues and human rights abuses. He reported, for example, on the demonstrations and subsequent massacre in Andijan in May 2005, in which troops killed antigovernment protesters in the northeastern city of Andijan.

After going missing for two weeks in September 2006, according to Reporters Without Borders, Karimov's friends discovered he had been committed to a psychiatric hospital in Samarkand, and his wife was not allowed to visit him. Loubet del Bayle of RWB said, "It is unacceptable that the authorities do not tell the families why they were arrested and their current condition."
Reporters Without Borders reported that he smuggled a message out of hospital that his health was deteriorating due to the use of pschotropic drugs. He complained of memory loss, difficulty concentrating and partial loss of vision.
In November 2007, Djamshid's health was reported to be deteriorating –
He has been held in psychiatric detention for over a yearby the authority. Following his coverage of the demonstrations and reporting on the killing of civilians in the city of Andijan, local authorities began monitoring Karimov’s activities.

Relatives of the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov from the city of Djizak already kicked up a scandal upon discovering secret services' interest in their family in early August. Margarita Karimova, the mother of independent journalist Jamshid Karimov, had specialists of the Djizak Municipal Directorate of Internal Affairs remove all bugs installed at her place a year ago. Colonel Marat Holturdiyev of the Djizak Regional Directorate of the National Security Service denied his subordinates' involvement and said in a rude manner that it would be real nice to have everyone minding his or her own business.
In early August 2006, his mother petitioned authorities to remove all listening devices from her house; they refused. In fact, law enforcement agents set up more surveillance equipment in a neighboring building, the Moscow-based Central Asia news Web site Ferghana reported.
The family’s long-distance telephone connections had been cut. Also in August, Karimov’s passport was seized by the authorities in Jizzakh after he applied for an exit visa to attend a journalism seminar in neighboring Kyrgyzstan.
The journalist was arrested on a visit to the Tashkent Department of Passports and Visas he appealed for a foreign visa to. All formal examinations should have been over long ago, but Karimov is not given his passport back.Officials of the Tashkent Department of Passports and Visas attribute the delay to the fact that they need a permit from the National Security Service first and this latter is certainly taking its time. The same officials admit, however, that the delay is something unprecedented indeed because Karimov has never had any troubles with the law. Margarita Karimova appealed to the National Security Service and the president, but her son remains without the passport all the same.

On August 31, the head of the regional administration, Ubaidulla Yamankulov, visited the family home. Yamankulov certainly believes in carving a straight path to his objective. He began with offering Jamshid Karimov the post of correspondent of the Tashkent newspapers Mulkdor and Tasvir in the Djizak region. The journalist turned the offer down. They received threats. They were told to stop writing. When it became clear that the obstinate journalist wouldn't be bought, regional administration sicked secret services on him.
The police installed a contraption looking like a radar in the house across the street from the Karimovs' place and aimed at it. The general opinion is that this is a listening device.
Jamshid Karimov is under constant surveillance. Two cars with four policemen in each are always parked not far from the Karimovs'. They follow the journalist everywhere.

Thirty-nine-year old Jamshid Karimov left his home in Jizzakh on September 12 to visit his elderly mother at the hospital. That was the last time his relatives saw him.Since then he was missing.

As his brother Alisher explained, Jamshid "never returned home." Two days later, Jamshid Karimov's friend and colleague, Ulugbek Khaidarov, was arrested in broad daylight in Jizzakh.

Jamshid and Ulugbek were almost the last remaining free journalists working in Uzbekistan. They have been writing openly about things they witnessed following the Andijon events. They both critically reported on what the governor of Jizzakh said to (justify) the Andijon (crackdown).
Relatives say the journalist was waiting for a bus when a woman approached him and put an envelope in his pocket before running away.
When Khaidarov realized the envelope contained $400, he threw it away. But he was then surrounded by plainclothes security officers who retrieved the envelope and took him away.
For Nortoji Khaidarova, there is no doubt her brother was framed. She spoke to RFE/RL's Uzbek Service two days after Khaidarov's arrest was first reported.

"I talked with the [Interior Ministry] officer who is investigating my brother's case," she said. "'If only he had kept silent!' he told me. 'Why is he publishing such slanderous articles on the Internet? Since he published those articles, we will send him [to jail].'"

On September 26, Khaidarova said extortion charges were brought against her brother. "The chief investigator told me that under Article 165 of the Uzbek Criminal Code, [Ulugbek] faces between five and 10 years in prison," she said.
Khaidarov was initially kept in a pretrial detention facility of the Interior Ministry's regional branch. He was then transferred to a cell in the ministry's municipal branch. This is where Nortoji says Khaidarov's wife, Munira, visited her husband.

"Munira Mustafaevna [Khaidarova] was the only one who was allowed to see Ulugbek on Saturday, September 23," she said. "They hardly gave her five minutes. They kept rushing her. She told us she found Ulugbek in bad shape. She says he didn't seem to be in his right mind. His eyes were unfocused. His mouth was twisted. He'd lost a great deal of weight. He didn't seem to know what he was saying. He kept repeating: 'I know nothing, I know nothing,' and 'everything's alright, everything's alright.'"

If authorities have been readily commenting on Khaidarov's arrest, they remain tightlipped about the other journalist's fate. In remarks reported by the independent uznews.net on September 20, the head of the National Security Service's regional branch, Marat Khalturdiev, curtly described Jamshid Karimov's disappearance as "a private affair" and refused to elaborate. On September 25, uznews.net quoted "sources close to Jamshid Karimov's family" as saying the journalist had reportedly been sent to a psychiatric hospital in Samarkand, some 100 kilometers southwest of Jizzakh.

Karimov went missing for two weeks in mid September 2006, after a visit to his elderly mother in the hospital. He was eventually found in a psychiatric hospital in the capital Samarkand, where he remains under successive psychiatric detention orders. The Uzbek authorities have apparently refused to give the reasons for holding him, calling it a “private matter”.


Jamshid Karimov, Elin Jonsson, and Ulugbek Khaidarov (left to right) in Uzbekistan (Courtesy Photo)

Elin Jonsson, a freelance Swedish journalist who specializes in Central Asian affairs, is a longtime acquaintance of the two journalists. She told RFE/RL that earlier this year both men told her they were increasingly concerned about their safety and had informed her of their intention to get a visa for Sweden.

"The last time I received a letter from them was in late July; I think it was July 28," she said. "They were telling me they had received information that Ulugbek would be arrested and that Jamshid would be sent to a psychiatric hospital, or a similar kind of closed institution."
Although Jamshid Karimov is notoriously critical of his uncle and his government, his blood ties to the Uzbek leader have safeguarded him and his family from trouble.
But Jonsson says things changed in the wake of last year's military crackdown in Andijon.
70-year-old mother, Margarita, confirmed that her son feared something bad would happen to him.
"One day he visited me at the hospital and the director made a scene," she said. "Jamshid was worrying more and more of late. He was telling me: 'Things will blow up, they will put handcuffs on me.' 'You did nothing wrong.' I was telling him. 'You criticized the authorities a little bit, so what? Don't worry, things will settle down.' But things didn't settle down, quite the contrary. They took everything from us, even the money. Now I live in poverty."

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Uzbek authorities to immediately release the two men and stop harassing their families.

"We're shocked at the brutal methods used against these two journalists, including psychiatric detention, a hallmark of Soviet repression," CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said in a statement on September 26. "If President Karimov is treating his own nephew in this manner, it's hard to imagine how others might fare."

International PEN October 2007 Newsletter carried a brief news and International PEN is deeply concerned that psychiatric detention is being used to punish the independent journalist Dzhamshid Karimov for daring to criticise the government and reporting on human rights abuses. It is calling for his release. (Thanks to Anna Kushner of PEN America Center for compiling this information.)What you can do:Send appeals protesting the psychiatric detention of Dzhamshid Karimov without explanation, and apparently because of his criticism of the government and reporting on human rights.

President Islam KARIMOV,

Rezidentsia prezidentaul.
Uzbekistanskaia 43700163
Tashkent UZBEKISTAN
Fax: + 998 71 139 53 25;
email: presidents_office@press-service.uz
This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it Copies of your appeals should also be sent to the diplomatic representative for Uzbekistan in your country.

Please send copies of any replies you may receive from the authorities to Sara Whyatt at the International PEN head office in London – address below. For further details contact Sara Whyatt at the Writers in Prison Committee London Office:

Brownlow House,
50/51 High Holborn,
London WC1V 6ER UK
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7405 0338 Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7405 0339
e-mail: sara.whyatt@internationalpen.org.uk

Norsk P.E.N. - Wergelandsveien 29, 0167 Oslo, NORWAYTel.: + 47 22 60 74 50 - Fax: +47 22 60 74 51 - Cell: +47 926 88 023

Take action to secure release of journalist and human rights defender Jamshid Karimov from ongoing detention in psychiatric hospital. He is detained there even though doctors agree there is nothing wrong with him.
Please copy this letter and send it to the address(es)listed.
Thank you for taking action on behalf of Jamshid Karimov
Target adresses:

President Karimov 700163 g. Tashkent,ul. Uzbekistanskaia, 43,Prezidentu Respubliki Uzbekistan Karimovu I.A.,Uzbekistan

General Procurator of the Republic of UzbekistanRespublika Uzbekistan; 700047 g. Tashkent; ul. Gulyamova, 66;Prokuratura Respubliki Uzbekistan;

Letter:
Your Excellency
I am concerned by the extension of the period of detention of human rights defender and journalist Jamshid Karimov who is currently detained in the Samarkand psychiatric hospital.
According to information received, Jamshid Karimov has been ordered to remain in Samarkand psychiatric hospital for a further six months where he is undergoing “treatment” despite doctors and medical commissioners failing to give an official diagnosis and allegedly admitting that there is nothing wrong with his mental health. In mid-September 2006 a Jizak town court ordered that he spend six months in a psychiatric hospital. His case was due to be reviewed in mid-March and a medical commission was instructed to examine his mental health and decide whether to release him or extend his detention for a further six month period. The medical commission's decision was confidential until last week when they announced the extension of Jamshid Karimov's detention.
Front Line is concerned that Jamshid Karimov has been detained on the basis of his legitimate and peaceful work in defense of human rights, in particular his independent reporting on the situation in Uzbekistan.

Front Line urges the authorities in Uzbekistan to:
1)Immediately and unconditionally release Jamshid Karimov, as it is believed that he is being detained solely on account of his legitimate human rights activities;

2)Grant permission for an independent doctor to medically examine and assess Jamshid Karimov;
3)Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Jamshid Karimov whilst in detention and ensure that he is not tortured or ill-treated, as is his right under Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
4)Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Uzbekistan are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals, and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

Front Line respectfully reminds you that the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms recognises the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders and their right to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals. We would particularly draw attention to Article 11:

“Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to the lawful exercise of his or her profession.” and Article 12:
(1): ‘Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
(2). The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration’. Yours sincerely,

Petition to EU on Uzbek sanctions
Posted: 26 september, 2007

To:
GAERC Council, Representatives of EU Member States
European Commission
Members of European Parliament

25 September, 2007

Human Rights Platform of Uzbekistan:
Representatives of civil society call on the European Union to extend sanctions against the government of Uzbekistan

On the eve of the forthcoming decision of the European Union on the fate of sanctions against the Karimov regime representatives of the civil society of Uzbekistan, supported by colleagues and friends across the world, urge EU to extend these sanctions and, at the same time, reinforce efforts to establish a dialogue on human rights with the government of Uzbekistan.

Below we summarise the situation in Uzbekistan and outline the most urgent steps to be taken by the EU, from the point of view of civil society of Uzbekistan.
Lack of cooperation with international structures on Andijan
In May 2007 EU decided to extend for another term the sanctions introduced in 2005 in response to the events in Andijan, which led to the numerous deaths of civilians. All attempts of EU to establish a constructive dialogue on human rights with the regime of Islam Karimov have not met a positive response. The Uzbek Government has ignored all calls for conducting an independent international investigation of these events and for an improvement of the human rights situation in the country.

Crackdown on independent voices since Andijan
In the period following the Andijan events, as well as over the last few months, the regime of Islam Karimov has not demonstrated any readiness for real concessions in the sphere of human rights. The investigation by the Uzbek authorities into these events resulted in a series of biased Stalinist trials, the majority of which were closed to the public, leaving defendants without access to legal defence and justice.

Since the Andijan events the ruling regime in Uzbekistan has also subjected many civic and human rights activists to intimidation, harassment and persecution. Beginning in 2005, hundreds of NGOs were forcibly closed down, a number of international organisations and mass media have lost their accreditation in the country. The most recent example is the decision of the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs in June 2007 to deprive the staff of Human Rights Watch of their accreditation and entry visa. Since May 2005 state censorship has been hardening on an unprecedented scale.

Dozens of human rights defenders and journalists have been imprisoned or were forced to flee the country in the observable period. For the moment, thirty two civil society activists are being in prison (their list can be sent upon request).

The machine of fabricating cases against devout Muslims and people with independent religious beliefs shows no sign of abating. The authorities do not make any distinction between moderate Muslim activists and Islamist radicals; between leaders and ordinary members of Islamic organizations; between pious believers and political Islamists, equally applying cruel repressions, long terms sentences and torture, to all of them. Thousands of innocent Muslims still languish in prison. By these inflammatory methods the regime antagonises a significant part of society provoking it to radical actions.

In recent months the regime has also enforced its repressive restrictions on the representatives of Christian parishes such as the Grace Presbyterian Church, Baptist congregation, the Jehovah's Witnesses, God's Love Pentecostal Church and Full Gospel Church. Their leaders and members have suffered harassment and punishment for their religious activity.

Systemic torture in prisons; violation of rights of movement; child labour
Even after the report produced by the UN Special Rapporteur Theo Van Boven in 2003 the use of torture in Uzbekistan remains systemic. Recent cases include those of imprisoned dissidents Djamshid Karimov, Dilmurod Muhiddinov, Muhammad Bekjan. Mamadali Mahmudov, Isroil Holdarov, who are relentlessly being tortured.

Their health and the conditions of other prisoners of conscience has substantially deteriorated due to torture and inhuman treatment in prisons (the list of those prisoners who need urgent medical assistance is attached). They are denied the right to meet with their lawyers and close relatives. Meanwhile, the authorities have prevented the International Red Cross from accessing prisons in order to carry out its humanitarian mission.

Keeping with the practices of the former Soviet regime, the Uzbek authorities use psychiatry as a means of punishment and persecution. Human rights activist and journalist Djamshid Karimov is still forcibly kept in a psychiatric clinic in Samarqand city.

Freedom of movement of citizens also remains restricted and permit is required to exit the country . Uzbekistan is one of only two countries (along with Turkmenistan) to retain the Soviet-style mechanism of permission for exit from the country, the so-called exit visas issued only for two years. A growing number of civic activists and journalists are being denied even this exit visa, for instance, Alo Hodjayev, Yadgar Turlibekov, Kamil Ashurov, Yelena Urlayeva, Ahtam Shaimardanov, Jahongir Shosalimov, Agzam Turgunov, Shuhrat Ahmedjanov, Saida Kurbanova, a number of Protestant activists, and others.

Another category of the population whose rights are violated systematically is children. As in Soviet times, each autumn school children in provinces and rural areas are being coercively employed in harvesting cotton without their parents’ permission and in violation of national and international law. Each year they are torn away from learning process for more than two months, due to which the quality of their education is declining. Their work on cotton fields is often underpaid. Rural population, despite their contribution to the cotton export revenue, suffer from chronic poverty; rural schools drag out a miserable existence. Cotton fibre and textiles produced as a result of coerced child labour are being sold in world markets, including in Europe. The people of Uzbekistan are deprived of the right to know what is the net cotton export revenue and how it s being used.

Against the background of these mass violations of human rights the Government of Uzbekistan tries to persuade the international community that there is a progress in this sphere. Under the pressure from human rights activists and international community the Parliament of Uzbekistan has recently adopted a law on abolishing the death penalty and delegating the power of issuing arrest warrants from the Prosecutor Office to judges, act per se deserving of encouragement. However, without the guarantees and mechanism of public control over its implementation this law could easily become another propagandist show, little more than an improvement on paper, like the law prohibiting press censorship adopted a few years ago but not making an affect upon the reality in Uzbekistan mass media. Only 2008 will show whether this legislative step will be implemented in reality, or will be another regime’s smoke screen hiding the genuine state of affairs in respect to human rights.

Respected representatives of the European Union,
The political system of Uzbekistan is in crisis. The country is governed by a man whose overtly protracted presidency (since 1990) expired already in January 2007. His power is resting mainly upon the use of coercive force and violence. It is not the rule of law that reigns in the country, but the right of might. The courts are guided not by Constitution, but by direct instructions from Prosecutor offices, and the security and law enforcement agencies. The majority of state institutions, especially their chief staff, are bogged in corruption.

Against the background of deteriorating human rights conditions and continuing systematic abuses we urge you to keep the sanctions against Uzbekistan in place as a matter of principle. Dropping these sanctions this autumn would only serve to advance the regime of Karimov, who would perceive this step as a cart-blanche for further repressions. In doing so the EU would involuntarily vote for the prolongation of Karimov’s presidency. The European Union should first find out whether the forthcoming presidential elections will be free and fair and not another puppet show with appointed pseudo-contestants.

In urging you to extend the term of sanctions, we do not call for a total international isolation of Uzbekistan. The dialogue on human rights, cooperation in the sphere of education and humanitarian programs, discussion of necessary preconditions for economic and business cooperation should be continued.

This dialogue and cooperation must however be oriented towards practical results, not empty declarations, and take into account rights of the population in general as wells as its aforementioned specific categories and groups, such as children, farmers and rural populace, small and medium business, civil society activists. The government of Uzbekistan needs - not only through empty words but in practice - to demonstrate its good will for the improvement of the situation with human rights.

First of all, the government of Uzbekistan should meet the following demands:

1. Reconsider the sentences and release from prison all prisoners of conscience;
2. Allow the International Red Cross to visit all prisons in the country and perform its humanitarian mission;
3. Start the reform of the penitentiary system; stop the practice of torture;
4. Release the judicial system from the dictate of the executive branch of power and law enforcement agencies;
5. Stop the practice of coercive child labour;
6. Abolish restrictions on the freedom of religion;
7. End restrictions on NGOs, independent mass media. Register opposition parties and allow them to take part in elections.
8. Open doors for cooperation with international community.

Besides these measures, the Andijan tragedy should not be forgotten. There is a pressing need for objective assessment, fairness and justice with respect to the events of Andijan. If national law cannot be implemented in an unbiased way, then the mechanism of international law and international collective actions must be used.

The refusal of the Uzbek government to face the law for indiscriminately shooting mass demonstrators indicates that the government is ready further to use violence against the population in a similar way as in Andijan. The likelihood of mass protests, in the meantime, is increasing due to the deterioration of the living conditions of the majority of the population. Failure to demonstrate now its adherence to principles will leave the EU liable to take a part of the responsibility for future massacres committed by the Karimov regime, beyond the lifetime of that regime.

We understand that we are proposing for the EU to continue on a difficult path. Yet we consider that this action is necessary and consistent with the course the EU set upon following the events at Andijan. We hope the EU can remain steadfast and unified in its approach to one of the worst human rights offenders in the world. The EU should maintain these sanctions whilst clearly stipulating the actions required to be taken by the government of Uzbekistan in order to have the sanctions lifted and bring the government back out of its isolation.

In hope for Your understanding,

Nadejda Atayeva, President, Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, Paris, France asiecentrale@neuf.fr

Kudrat Babadjanov, Group for Freedom of Press in Uzbekistan, Timro, Sweden
Yelena Urlaeva, human rights defender, Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Ahtam Shaimardanov, human rights defender, Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Abdillo Tojibai ugli, human rights defender, Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan,, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Jahongir Shosalimov, human rights defender, Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Bakhodyr Isamuhamedov, Chair, 'Mahalla' Project for supporting neighbourhood communities, Stockholm, Sweden
Surat Ikramov, Chairman, Independent Group of Human Rights Defenders of Uzbekistan
Abdujalil Boymatov, Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan, Dublin, Ireland

And a long list follows ( not mentioned here)

We are Positive in thinking that the development and welfare of all human being in Uzbekistan are progressing .

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