China: Rights & Liberties
Human rights and civil liberties in China. Dec 4
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A study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University has concluded that Chinese social media sites are deleting messages with content that might be construed as controversial by the Communist Party - the first conclusive evidence that state censorship extends to social media sites like Sina Weibo, the popular micro blogging Web site that many have likened to a Chinese Twitter. The study, published on the Web site of First Monday , an online publication of the University of Illinois, Chicago, finds that censors in China delete around 16 percent of the messages submitted to Sina Weibo , the popular micro blogging Web site that many have likened to a Chinese version of Twitter. The study, released in March, concludes that "soft censorship" in China - the removal of controversial subject matter from blogs and Web pages - is at least as popular as hard censorship, like the blocking of offensive sites.
12 March 2012 Last updated at 08:14 ET By James Jones This World In Henan Province, in central China, millions of people have been tuning in every week to watch an extraordinary talk show called Interviews Before Execution, in which a reporter interviews murderers condemned to death. The show ran for just over five years, until it was taken off air on Friday. Every Monday morning, reporter Ding Yu and her team scoured court reports to find cases to cover on their programme. They had to move quickly, as prisoners in China can be executed seven days after they are sentenced. To Western eyes the show's format may seem exploitative, but Ding disagrees.
In a new book, excerpted below, former CNN correspondent Rebecca MacKinnon explains how Beijing, and its loyal corporate minions, scrub ‘disharmonious’ material from the Chinese Web: In fall 2009, I sat in a large auditorium festooned with red banners and watched as Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, China’s dominant search engine, paraded onstage with executives from 19 other companies to receive the “China Internet Self-Discipline Award.” Officials from the quasi-governmental Internet Society of China praised them for fostering “harmonious and healthy Internet development.”
When workers in the cafeteria ran outside, they saw black smoke pouring from shattered windows. It came from the area where employees polished thousands of cases a day. Two people were killed immediately, and over a dozen others hurt. As the injured were rushed into ambulances, one in particular stood out.
Beijing city authorities have issued new rules requiring microbloggers to register their real names before posting online. Beijing city authorities have issued new rules requiring microbloggers to register their real names before posting online, as the Chinese government tightens its grip on the internet. The city government now requires users of weibos - the Chinese version of Twitter - to give their real names to website administrators, its official news portal said. It is not clear how many web users will be affected by the new rules which will apply to website operators registered in Beijing. Sina, owner of China's most popular microblogging service which has more than 200 million users, is registered in the Chinese capital.
BEIJING, China — China has released two of its best-known critics in the past week, but managed to silence both of them. And they’re not alone. In the months since failed calls for revolution in Beijing triggered a massive security response, scores of critics of the regime have been muzzled and gagged through various means. In every case, it appears authorities have made it clear the risk of speaking out is greater than the burden of keeping quiet.
For centuries, wave after wave of colonists and foreign investors have swept through Africa, looking for profits from the continent’s abundant reserves of oil and prized minerals. Many instead left records of corruption and broken promises of shared wealth with Africans. It is against this backdrop that an eager conglomerate has recently been drawing attention and generating headlines throughout Africa. China-Sonangol is part of a global network of companies extracting oil in Angola, buying gold in Zimbabwe, building luxury condominiums in Singapore and developing property in Manhattan.
This week saw two disappointing decisions by two major American companies, Microsoft and Cisco , that appear to be choosing to become little tech helpers to China's repressive regime rather than choosing to be a force for good. For Cisco, it's more of the same. For Microsoft, it's a disappointing turn. China’s Internet censorship is perhaps the most pervasive and its filtering system most sophisticated. The Chinese government requires all companies operating there, whether Western or Chinese, to engage in an opaque self-censorship practice limiting access to any content that could potentially undermine state control, including but not at all limited to political content, information about minority groups, and a vast array of proxies and circumvention tools.
Enlarge Guang Niu / Getty Images Chinese laborers adjust a surveillance camera at Tiananmen Square in 2007 in Beijing, China. Guang Niu / Getty Images In a piece today, the reports that Cisco Systems Inc. will help China build a massive surveillance network in the city of Chongqing. The technological part of it is impressive, as it will "cover cover a half-million intersections, neighborhoods and parks over nearly 400 square miles, an area more than 25% larger than New York City." But the bigger question that the piece is concerned with is whether that equipment will be used by the Chinese government to crackdown on dissent and what responsibility does a Western company bear when it does business with a government like China?
The anti-corruption movement in India, which has acquired fever pitch in recent months, is proving contagious, and is influencing people in China, which too faces just as serious a problem with corruption. In recent days, Chinese netizens have launched three anti-bribery whistleblowers’ website, inspired by an Indian website – ipaidabribe.com – where users can anonymously post details of bribes that they either paid or refused to pay. Chinese netizens have launched three anti-bribery whistleblowers’ website, inspired by an Indian website ipaidabribe.com.
At a time when so many other outspoken lawyers in China have been silenced, he is one of a handful who continue to speak out publicly about sensitive cases. When, as frequently happens, one of his blog posts is taken down by censors at Sina, he posts the notification he receives. (Sometimes, even those messages get censored.) Liu is also one of the few Chinese rights lawyers still actively posting to Twitter. That might be because, for over a month, he's been on a kind of "probation" over at Sina Weibo, where every post needs to be examined first before it can be put online.
Chinese officials increase the pressure on Tibetan monks in a political 're-education' campaign. Watch a video of the increased security presence in Ngaba county Chinese authorities in southwestern Sichuan province have detained and tortured Tibetan monks amid a siege of a major monastery there, according to exile sources. Tensions have been running high at the besieged monastery of Kirti in Sichuan's Ngaba prefecture, which is home to some 2,500 Tibetan monks who say they are now running out of food.
Chinese protesters reach a standoff with riot police in Zengcheng, near Guangzhou. The clashes highlight the authorities' struggle to control social frustrations. Photograph: Reuters Rioters burned police and fire vehicles in a third day of unrest in southern China 's manufacturing heartlands, witnesses have reported. Hong Kong broadcasters reported that armed police fired teargas as they sought to disperse the crowd and detained at least a dozen demonstrators. The clashes, which began on Friday after a fracas between security officers and a pregnant street vendor in Xintang, Guangdong province, highlight Chinese authorities' struggle to control social frustrations.
More Tibetans are held following the fourth week of anti-China protests. Three people, including two nuns, have been detained in separate incidents following protests against Chinese rule in a Tibetan region of Southwestern Sichuan province on Tuesday, according to sources with contacts in the area. “Two nuns staged a protest in Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) county seat during the early hours of June 28,” said a reporter from Delhi, India, who spoke with people in the region.