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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