Takeaway rappers

Crazy Chef and Little Tiger. No, not two pre-merger roadside restaurants but a couple of Chinese rappers who, as the Times put it, are putting the bling in Beijing.

Together with a chap called Kirby Li, they form Dragons Tongue - China's first hip-hop group to perform overseas for China Now, a festival of Chinese culture being held in the UK.

According to the band, the issues that colour American hip-hop would not resonate with a Chinese audience. We have to keep our lyrics real, Li says. The life of people in China has nothing to do with drugs, guns or violence but it's more about how hard it is to find a job and how you feel when your boss curses you or your girl dumps you.

But, according to the Times , the Dragons (as theyll undoubtedly be known to their fans, just like the Manics or the Stones) are also acutely aware of how far they can test the patience of the Communist Party censors when their songs are played on the radio back home. Not so much a case of putting the bling into Beijing as the beep, but its a good story nevertheless and comes on the day of the six-month countdown to the Olympic Games.

Were using this milestone to highlight the case of human rights activist Hu Jia, who I mentioned in the blog a week ago. Amnesty is gravely concerned that the Chinese authorities are putting pressure on him to plead guilty to crimes against national security. Were worried too that Hu may not be receiving his prescription medication for liver disease resulting from Hepatitis B infection.

Furthermore, Hu Jia's wife, Zeng Jinyan, is still under house arrest with their newborn baby. She is not permitted to leave their home and her telephone line and Internet connection have been cut.

Take action here.

Finally, according to Information Week `US spies are looking increasingly online for intelligence and have become major consumers of social media. Oh well, at least now I know Ill have at least one friend when I set up my group!

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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