China Human Rights Briefing January 20, 2010

ChinaHuman Rights Briefing

January 20, 2010

Headlines

 

Freedomof Expression

XinjiangResidents Able to Receive Long-Distance Calls for First Time in SixMonths

Government officials in the Xinjiang UyghurAutonomous Region may have lifted restrictions on internationallong-distancetelephone calls as of January 20. According to reports by Xinjiangnetizens, residentsin Xinjiang are currently able to place long-distance calls, but arenot ableto receive any incoming international calls yet. Some restrictions ontheinternet and cell phone text messaging remain in place. It has beenmore thansix months since internet, cell phone, and long-distance telephoneservices inthe province were cut off following riots in the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi on July5, 2009.(CHRD)[i]

Gansu Provinceto Build a Team of 650 “Internet Commentators”

According to a January 19 article on XibuShangbao, a newspaper based in Gansu Province,the head of theprovince’s Propaganda Department announced that the province isrecruitingmembers for a team of 650 internet commentators. These commentatorsneed to “takean active interest in popular social issues and the changing dynamicsof publicopinion, have a broad knowledge base…have a high level of writingskills…arestrongly persuasive and can influence others.” The commentators would“correctlyguide public opinion” by publishing articles supportive of thegovernment on websites,BBS and blogs. (GansuDaily Online)[ii]

Harassment of Activists

ShaanxiActivist’s “Legal Worker” Certificate Withheld

Local Bureau of Justice has withheld a “legalworker” certificate that is supposed to be granted to Shaanxi activistYang Bo(杨博)because he is an “unstable element connected with overseas media”.Others whoattended the same legal training program as Yang have all receivedtheir certificates.It is believed that Yang, an activist based in FengxiangCounty, Baoji City, ShaanxiProvince, is punished for advising six Fengxiang villagers facing landappropriation in August 2008. Yang was also one of the organizers ofChinaHuman Rights Forum in 2007. (CHRD)[iii]

PoliceSummons and Warns over 30 HunanActivists for Supporting Xie Fulin

CHRD learned onJanuary 20 that over 30 Hunan activists have been summoned, questionedandwarned for attempting to attend the trial of Xie Fulin (谢福林), an activist basedin Changsha City, Hunan Province. Reportedly, police have targeted alltheactivists who gathered outside of the court to show solidarity withXie. Accordingto those summoned, the police were irritated with the media reports onthetrial and warned these activists against accepting interviews orprovidingfurther information to the media. Some of those summoned, who do notwish to benamed, have since been closely followed by the police. (CHRD)[iv]

Citizens’Actions

ThousandsProtest Outside of GuangzhouGarbage Incinerator over Health Concerns

Thousands of local residents gathered outsidethe Likeng Garbage Incinerator Plant in YongxingVillage, Baiyun District, Guangzhou, onJanuary 19and 20, protesting for two consecutive days over plans to continue withnewconstruction and expand operations of the plant. Neighbors say that theincinerator, which is responsible for handling 1/12 of Guangzhou'strash, is causing dangerouspollution which has led to an increase in cancer rates and incidencesof leadpoisoning among residents living nearby. According to reports, over 100policemen were present at the scene but allowed the protest to continuepeacefully; the case has drawn considerable attention domestically asofficialsfrom the Chinese Environmental Research Institute have reportedlyquestionedlocal officials' findings that the plant's operations are safe. (CRLW)[v]

Editors: David Smalls and Lin Sang

News updates from CHRD: http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class9/Class10/Index.html

Reining in Civil Society: The Chinesegovernment’s use of laws and regulations to persecute freedom ofassociationhttp://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class9/Class11/200908/20090810214902_16733.html

CHRD Yearbook 2007-2008: http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class9/Class11/200808/20080807093200_9888.html

[i] CHRD, "Xinjiang Lifts Ban on International Long-DistanceCalls(新疆开放国际长途电话业务)," January 20, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201001/20100120211309_19523.html

[ii] Xibao Shangbao, “Recruiting experts, ourprovince is tobuild a 650-member internet commentator team (网罗高手 我省将建650人网评团),” January 19,2010, xbsb.gansudaily.com.cn/system/2010/01/19/011428877.shtml

[iii] CHRD, “Shaanxi Baoji Judicial Bureau Detain Yang Bo’sLegal WorkerLicense (陕西宝鸡司法局扣押杨博法律工作者证)”,January 20, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201001/20100120195700_19520.html

[iv] CHRD, “A group of human rights activists warned in HunanProvince (湖南一批维权人士受到警告)”, January 20, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class53/201001/20100120231928_19528.html

[v] CRLW, "Over One Thousand Residents Protest Outsude ofGuangzhou's Likeng Garbage Incinerator (逾千人静座抗议广州李坑垃圾发电厂),"January 20, 2010, http://www.crd-net.org/Article/bzsf/201001/20100120190928_19517.html

 Source:

ChineseHuman Rights Defenders(CHRD)   Web: http://crd-net.org/  Email: networkcrd@gmail.com Promoting human rights and empowering grassrootsactivism in China   

 

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