China Olympic Games and Repression

Repression continues in China, one year before Olympic

Repression continues in China, one year before Olympic Games
The Reporters Without Borders list of nine things the Chinese authorities must do before the Beijing Olympic Games:
Reporters Without Borders also supports the eight demands of the Collectif Chine JO 2008 (China 2008 Olympics Collective), an alliance of nine human rights organisations based in France:
Reporters Without Borders wrote to IOC Jacques Rogge in June 2007

Repression continues in China,

one year before Olympic Games

When the International Olympic Committee assigned the 2008 summer Olympic Games to Beijing on 13 July 2001, the Chinese police were intensifying a crackdown on subversive elements, including Internet users and journalists. Six years later, nothing has changed. But 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.

From the outset, Reporters Without Borders has been opposed to holding the Olympic Games to Beijing. Now, a year before the opening ceremony, it is clear the Chinese government still sees the media and Internet as strategic sectors that cannot be left to the “hostile forces” denounced by President Hu Jintao. The departments of propaganda and public security and the cyber-police, all conservative bastions, implement censorship with scrupulous care.

At least 30 journalists and 50 Internet users are currently detained in China. Some of them since the 1980s. The government blocks access to thousands for news websites. It jams the Chinese, Tibetan and Uyghur-language programmes of 10 international radio stations. After focusing on websites and chat forums, the authorities are now concentrating on blogs and video-sharing sites. 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.

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And continue to read these


Support the international campaign by signing this petition that will be sent to Liu Qi, the president of the Beijing Organising Committee for the Games and secretary of the Beijing municipal committee of the Communist Party of China

Pictures of the campaign

See photos of the operations carried out in Beijing, Paris, New York…

Media downloads

Download the “Beijing 2008” campaign graphic
Download the “Beijing 2008” web banner

in this country

15.10 – China
Reporters Without Borders activists rally in front of Olympic museum in Lausanne as Chinese Communist Party’s 17th congress opens
15.09 – China
New York Times researcher Zhao Yan freed on completing jail term
14.09 – China
Arrests and incidents involving foreign journalists show government is not keeping Olympic Games promises
31.08 – China
Congress passes law censoring disaster coverage
30.08 – China
Calling for lawsuit’s dismissal, Yahoo! says it is “political and diplomatic issue”

in the annual report

China – Annual report 2007

Extracts from the Reporters without borders’ reports

Extracts from the Reporters without borders’ reports



Extracts from the Reporters without borders’ reports

Journalists, video-makers and poets arrested during the demonstrations:

Maung Yan Paing, writer living in North Okkalapa,

Win Ko Ko Lat, reporter on the Weekly Eleven Journal,

Win Saing, photo-journalist,

Nay Linn Aung, reporter on 7-Days newspaper,

Contrary to what was reported earlier, Nay Linn Aung has still not been released.

Two actors who write columns on Burmese society and the junta, have been imprisoned:

Par Par Lay, A member of the Moustache Brothers troop in Mandalay, central Burma, has been secretly held since 25 September. He had previously been imprisoned from 1994-2001.

Zarnagar, actor nicknamed the Burmese “Charlie Chaplin”, was arrested in Rangoon after openly supporting the monks. He has already been imprisoned twice in 1988 and 1990. The magazine Irrawaddy quoted his wife as saying that his health is poor.

Several other journalists have disappeared, but they could have gone underground or tried to reach the Thai border.

Journalists detained before August 2007:

U Thaung Sein, freelance photo-reporter Ko Moe Htun, Dhamah-Yate Ne Min, independent Monywa Aung-Shin, Sar-maw-khung U Win Tin, Hanthawathi. . . .

 See the Burma – Annual report 2007

Despite growing international pressure, the military junta has not released its iron grip on the media. Burma’s most renowned journalist, U Win Tin, laureate of the Reporters Without Borders – Fondation de France 2006 prize, spent his 76th birthday in his prison cell. The privately-owned press is still subjected to unrelenting advance censorship. . . . .

12 October 2007 

Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association today expressed their concern for the physical safety of 6 journalists, writers and comedian-columnists now imprisoned in Burma as police raids continued.

“The announcement today of the death under torture of a pro-democracy activist, makes us fear the worst for the 11 reporters, video-makers and comedian-columnists, some of whom have been secretly held for several weeks in Burma. The UN Security Council statement which deplored the crackdown is to be welcomed, but it did not go far enough. We regret that the Security Council did not call for the immediate and unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners. ” the worldwide press freedom organisation said. . . . .

9 October 2007

Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association welcome the release of Kyaw Ze Yar Tun of the newspaper The Voice. In a separate development, Internet connections were restored for a few hours today.

“Now that United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari has failed to get the repression stopped, it is important that the international community should continue to call for the release of the hundreds or possibly thousands of people, including six journalists, who have arrested since mid-August,” the two organisations said. . . . . .

“We are appalled by the methods used by the police, who are arresting many people, especially young demonstrators, on the basis of photos taken by plain-clothes police who were in the demonstrations,” Reporters Without Borders and the BMA added.

According to the information available to the two organisations, the six journalists and writers held are Maung Yan Paing, a writer living in North Okkalapa, Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi, a writer and radio and TV producer, Ye Lwin, a poet, writer and singer with the Mizzima Wave Band, Kyaw Zeya Tun, a reporter with The Voice Journal, Win Ko Ko Lat, a reporter with Weekly Eleven Journal, and photo-journalist Win Saing, who has been held since 28 August . . . .

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The control system never sleeps. In November, the political police and members of the pro-junta militia UDSA harassed hundreds of writers and journalists who attended the birthday party of Ludu Daw Amar, founder of the Ludu Daily News, in Mandalay. The junta resented the fact that she used the occasion to speak out against political and social oppression and the lack of press freedom in the country.

The junta does not jam international radios broadcasts in Burmese but they do harass and punish some of their participants. The film-maker and journalist Thura “Zar Ga Nar” was in May banned from all artistic activity after taking part in a broadcast on the Burmese service of the BBC. This decision was taken by Major Thein Htun Aung, director of the information ministry’s cinema department. . . .

U Win Tin, detained since 1989

As of 1st January 2007, at least seven journalists were behind bars in Burma. Among them, U Win Tin, who has been imprisoned since July 1989. He is receiving treatment for high blood pressure and an inflamed prostate. . . .

Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2007Eritrea ranked last for first time while G8 members, except Russia, recover lost groundBloggers now threatened as much as journalists in traditional mediaEritrea has replaced North Korea in last place in an index measuring the level of press freedom in 169 countries throughout the world that is published today by Reporters Without Borders for the sixth year running.

Of the 20 countries at the bottom of the index, seven are Asian (Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Laos, Vietnam, China, Burma, and North Korea) . . . .

“We are particularly disturbed by the situation in Burma (164th),” Reporters Without Borders said. “The military junta’s crackdown on demonstrations bodes ill for the future of basic freedoms in this country. Journalists continue to work under the yoke of harsh censorship from which nothing escapes, not even small ads. We also regret that China (163rd) stagnates near the bottom of the index. With less than a year to go to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the reforms and the releases of imprisoned journalists so often promised by the authorities seem to be a vain hope.”

The ranking

1 Iceland 0,75
Norway 0,75
3 Estonia 1,00
Slovakia 1,00
5 Belgium 1,50
Finland 1,50
Sweden 1,50
8 Denmark 2,00
Ireland 2,00
Portugal 2,00
11 Switzerland 3,00
159 Somalia 71,50
160 Uzbekistan 74,88
161 Laos 75,00
162 Vietnam 79,25
163 China 89,00

Myanmar activists go into fighting mode

Myanmar activists go into fighting mode

By : Koh Lay Chin

NST journalist Koh Lay Chin is on a Master’s programme at the London School of

Activists demonstrating against the  junta have become common around the world following the military crackdown against the leaders behind pro-democracy rallies  in Myanmar.
Activists demonstrating against the junta have become common around the world following the military crackdown against the leaders behind pro-democracy rallies in Myanmar.

LAST Sunday, I watched four students eagerly crawl into a cage.

It has been an interesting two weeks in Britain so far. You just cannot get away from these Free Myanmar protesters.

The previous weekend at Trafalgar Square, I met a Myanmar protester named San at an Amnesty-organised march, where thousands of all colours were decked out in red. Bright-eyed and cheerful, he was with a group armed with caps, flyers, forms and an enthusiasm to reach out.

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A gust of hot air but little pain for the junta

A gust of hot air but little pain for the junta


United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari is on a six-nation tour to drum up support against Myanmar’s crackdown on pro-democracy activists, writes SETH MYDANS

UNITED Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari said in Bangkok on Monday that arrests in Myanmar “must stop at once”, and that the international community must do more to curb repression by the ruling junta.

Gambari had arrived in Bangkok on Sunday to begin a six-country consultation tour of Asia before heading to Myanmar to resume talks with the government that began early this month.

“We could do more, not just Thailand,” he said. “India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United Nations, we could do more.”

But it was not clear what more he — or the international community — could do to influence the behaviour of a junta that appears not to care what the world thinks.

It has isolated itself by choice for the past half century and has managed quite well with the help of a few self-interested friends.

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