Posts tagged ‘petitions’

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Petition for Spanish Foreign Shortwave Radio

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Club S500, a Spanish shortwave magazine, runs an
» online petition on change.org.

Background: Spanish foreign radio (Radio Exterior de Espana / RTVE) has decided to close down its shortwave facilities and to limit broadcasting to the internet and satellite.

Spanish foreign radio QSL card, 1986

A QSL card from REE / RTVE confirming reception of a broadcast on May 1, 1986

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Related

» Spanish Foreign Radio abandons Shortwave, Oct 3, 2014

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Weeks before June 4: Struggling for the Ideological Switch Stands

[Cont. April 23, 1911

Main Link: 1989 年 4 月 24 日 星期日

Li Tieying and Li Ximing both agree with Li Peng that strict measures should be taken against the students’ movement. At 8.30 in the evening, Li Peng goes to see Yang Shangkun to analyse the situation. Yang also sees a changing trend and encourages Li Peng to see Deng Xiaoping. Li Peng asks Yang to join him in a visit to Deng, and Yang agrees. During the evening, as Li Peng reads many papers and adds  comments to them, and a flow of public-security bureau, security, education commission staff etc, concerning trends among the students in all places keeps coming in, by phone and cable.

Science and Technology Daily‘s entering into the forbidden area of coverage receives a great echo, and from the morning on, people call this paper to tell the staff that they had written in fair words. However, vice chief editor Sun Changjiang says that they haven’t done something special, and just acted in accordance with professional ethics, in their effort to carry out their duty as the media. Their [Science and Technology Daily] coverage hadn’t been particularly good; rather, he believes, that of some other papers has been particularly bad. The event is authentic, and their attitude is sincere.

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Monday, April 24, 1989

Main Link: 1989 年 4 月 24 日 星期一 (same document)

In the morning, sixty-thousand students from some 38 colleges and universities such as Beijing University, Tsinghua University, People’s University (Renmin University) begin a strike. Some students gather within the universities, conduct sit-ins, demonstrations, put up posters, and others shout slogans like “join the strike quickly”, “no end to the strike without reaching our goals”, and “walk out on lessons and exams, not on learning”.

Some students give lectures on societal issues, put up propaganda sheets, propagate “April 20 massacre”, “crying-and-begging to the non-understanding government” information, and still others take to the streets and lanes, for fund-raising and to call on “all the city’s citizens to become active in strikes”. Students from Beijing University, Tsinghua University and People’s University maintain order, and dissuade students from taking part in lessons. Some university party secretaries point out in reports to the next-upper party level that the current situation, if it lasts, will be absolutely harmful, and that one has to fear that this could take still larger dimensions as May 4 is approaching. They express their hopes that the central committee and the municipal committee issue clear guidelines, policies and instructions to end the strikes as soon as possible.

At 14:40, student committees at Beijing University and other universities hold meetings at the May-4 squares on their campuses, with some eighty percent of students attending. They prepare activities to boycott official May-4 activities and to establish autonomous students unions in Beijing and students unions of national unity all over the country. Some papers report that student delegates from Nankai University,  Nanjing University, Fudan University, Guangzhou University and other universities are also attending. Nearly two-hundred students with red armbands are maintaining order. As several members of students committees publicly push and pull each other on stage in a quarrel twice, more than six-thousand students at the meeting are abuzz. The meeting ends at 16:00 in discord, without having made any decisions. Dozens of foreign reporters have been present and recorded the event. A press conference by the preparatory committee, scheduled for 7 p.m., is subsequently cancelled.

Beijing University posts the “Recommendations to the Preparatory Committee, signed by people from Beijing University” poster, suggesting to redraw the slogans and action principles in order to get public support. The slogans should oppose corruption and bureaucracy, actions should be carried out downtown, at broad daylight, so as to broaden their influence, unified action would be needed between the universities and colleges, preparations be made for a long-term struggle, and extensive contacts be built with people from intellectual and democratic circles.

There is also another poster, under the headline “five points”, about “guaranteeing basic human rights, releasing political criminals, opposing party supremacy, checks and balances by separation of the three powers, defining a democratic constitution” and other political positions.

More than twohundred Beijing University teachers jointly call for maintaining the principles of the thirteen universities to consult the students and to have a dialog with them. A similar call comes from the China University of Political Science and Law [Wu Renhua's university]. The Beijing Students Autonomous Federation (aka Capital Autonomous Federation of University Students) calls on every student to send ten letters to compatriots all over the country. Between two- and threehundred students are to be dispatched to fifteen large cities all over the nation, such as Tianjin, Jinan, Shenyang, Changsha, Chengdu, Xi’an, Lanzhou, Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou, Taiyuan, Shanghai, Nanjing and Wuhan  to deliver speeches and to make contacts.

A peaceful petition meeting at Tsinghua University started a peaceful demonstration within the campus, at eight in the morning, with about ten thousand students participating. It’s an orderly demonstration with a length reaching two kilometers.

The Tsinghua University Students Council puts forward four principles concerning the students’ strike:

  1. to maintain the reasonable struggle and the peaceful petition
  2. to maintain unity and the power of all that can be united
  3. to adhere to the strike on lessons, not on learning
  4. to make sure that cool heads prevail among the younger students.

Educational departments from all over the country give their reactions to the State Education Commission, expressing their hope that the situation at Beijing’s universities and colleges can be stabilized soon, as it would otherwise be difficult to control the situation at universities outside the capital.

In the evening, Ren Wanding, who was responsible for the “Human Rights Alliance” time of the Xidan Democracy Wall, speaks on Tian An Men Square. He says: “the people are destitute, robbers arise from everywhere, prices are soaring, and the national economy is in crisis. If the four cardinal principles don’t vanish from the constitution, they will keep hanging over the people’s interests.”

Ren Wanding has also been to the universities of Beijing to speak there, but without much response, as the students didn’t understand him, and because they felt that his views were radical. When Chen Xiaoping and I watched him speaking in front of the dormitory of the University of Political Science and Law, there was only a sparse audience. Both Chen and I felt saddened.

In the afternoon, Li Ximing and Chen Xitong report to National People’s Congress chairman Wan Li. Wan Li was Beijing’s vice mayor prior to the cultural revolution. He suggests that the politburo’s standing committee should analyse the situation in the evening, chaired by Li Peng.

[According to this account by Wu Renhua, this meeting was held on the evening of April 24. This source seems to suggest that this happened on April 23.]

The standing committee, chaired by Li Peng, believes that a variety of events are indicating that under the control and instigation of very few people,  a planned, organized anti-party, anti-socialist political struggle is arranged before their eyes. The decision is made to form a group tasked with stopping the unrest, and requires Beijing’s party and government to stabilize the situation quickly, by winning over the majority of the masses and by isolating the minority, and by calming down the unrest. Standing committe member Li Peng, Qiao Shi, Hu Qili, Yao Yilin, as well as  – with no voting rights – Yang Shangkun, Wan Li, central party secretary Rui Xingwen, Yan Mingfu, Wen Jiabao, (not standing) politburo members Tian Jiyun, Li Ximing, Song Ping, Ding Guangen as well as people in charge at the relevant departments are attending the meeting.

In the evening, Li Peng receives a phonecall from Deng Xiaoping‘s secretary Wang Ruilin, inviting Li Peng and Yang Shangkun to his home at ten a.m. next day for discussions.

The World Economic Herald, a weekly from Shanghai, normally scheduled to appear today, has six blocks of content from a memorial forum held in cooperation with the New Observer magazine (新观察) on April 19. The 25 participants spoke highly of Hu Yaobang’s humanness, as a person of democratic open-mindedness [or liberalism - 民主开明], and of deep humanity. Science and Technology Daily vice chief editor Sun Changjiang [see above, entering into the forbidden area of coverage], Guangming Daily‘s reporter Dai Qing, and Yan Jiaqi of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences political science institute state more clearly that Hu Yaobang was forced to resign, and that he died while being treated unfairly. 300,000 copies of the World Economic Herald were printed by Saturday, some of it already at the post offices, while the remainder is stored at the printing house. But when Shanghai’s municipal party committee is informed about some of the content, it orders the postal offices to stop the dispatch of the papers, and seals the remaining copies in the printing house off. In the afternoon, the CCP municipal committee has a meeting with World Economic Herald chief editor Qin Benli in the afternoon, telling him that what is said in the account of the forum is correct, but that, as May 4 comes nearer, they fear that this could stirr the students’ emotions, add to the pressure on the government, and express their hope that the more sensitive content will be removed. The World Economic Herald does not agree with the cuts and revisions.

At the time, the World Economic Review’s Beijing office is the meeting point for democratic and liberal personalities. The office director Zhang Weiguo has strong campaigning skills and is broadly connected. Because of having led the [memorial] forum and for other reasons, he will be arrested after the June-4 crackdown.

To be continued
Continued here »

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Whose “China Dream”? Open Letter Reacts to Censorship of SCMP’s New Year’s Editorial

At least 35 former Southern Weekly (南方周末) employees demanded the resignation of Guangdong’s propaganda chief  Tuo Zhen (庹震), reports the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The open letter was distributed on the internet on Friday.

The letter accuses Mr. Tuo of ordering last-minute changes to the editorial, unbeknownst to the newspaper’s staff. The accusations, if proved true, would suggest aggressive efforts to silence reform advocates and a tightening grip over traditionally outspoken newspapers in Guangdong, media observers say.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) has a short bio of Tuo Zhen – it’s not exactly the background one would expect from a leading censor and propagandist.

China Media Project (CMP, Hong Kong) translated and published excerpts from the SCMP staff’s open letter on Friday, and announced a full translation.

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Related

» Advocating Democracy, January 1, 2013
» Public-Vehicle Petitions, Dec 27, 2012
» On the Ground, The Hindu, Nov 9, 2012

Updates/Related

» 我们,曾在南方周末工作过的媒体从业者, 南洋视界, January 5, 2013

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Friday, April 1, 2011

JR’s Reception Reports: Deutsche Welle Reshuffles

Reception Report: Deutsche Welle, March 2011

Reception Report: Deutsche Welle, March 2011

A Chinese journalist who had worked freelance for the Voice of Germany (Deutsche Welle) for more than twenty years reportedly lost her contract with the foreign broadcasting station at the end of last year. She believes that her contract hadn’t been renewed for political reasons or motivations, and therefore sued the Voice for about 150,000 Euros. The Voice cited an organizational reshuffle as the reason for the end of their contract, reports the Generalanzeiger.

The case was heard by the Labor Court (Arbeitsgericht) in Bonn, and turned down on March 19 this year. On the sidelines of the hearing, the journalist’s attorney reportedly drew a link with older disputes of 2008, when complaints by Chinese dissidents  had led to an examination and acquittal of the station’s Chinese-language department.

In 2008, all staff issues were apparently settled without the involvement of a court.

A china.com commenting thread contains what is said to be an open letter by – apparently laid off – editorial Chinese-service journalists to the German federal parliament (the Bundestag), dated March this year. The letter has apparently not yet been published online as a newsarticle or as a post.

If you don’t speak/read German, but want to know more about the – alleged – 2008 background to the more recent complaint or complaints, JR’s Deutsche-Welle-Chinese-related posts are an absolute must. Help yourselves.

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Related
Just another German Review of the Chinese Press, January 25, 2011
Deutsche Welle Mission Statement (undated)

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Köhler takes stock after China Visit

On his departure, German president Horst Köhler left a list with the names of human rights activists who are persecuted in China. Köhler had been on a state visit to the country, with talks in Beijing and a visit to the Shanghai Expo 2010. Liu Xia and Zeng Jinyan, the wives of Liu Xiaobo and Hu Jia, had asked Köhler to advocate their husbands’ release from prison.

“We will follow up what will be done about it,” dpa quoted Köhler on Thursday. On a previous visit to China, he had delivered a name list, too. There had been no reaction, “but we will keep doing it”. His talks had verified the good, but also difficult relationship between Germany and China.

“Everyone knows that we differ on certain issues, such as democracy or human rights, but we articulate it in a way the Chinese can handle and which are still effective.”

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Will Köhler speak for Hu and Liu?

President Horst Köhler is a soft-spoken man, even when he tries to appear combative, in domestic debates. In May 2009, Germany’s president got re-elected for a second five-year term by the Federal Convention – a combination of members of the federal parliament (Bundestag) and another number of representatives elected by the regional parliaments of the single federal states. When travelling abroad, he usually spreads a fairly good Qi.

Just the man to travel to Beijing where he is scheduled to arrive later today. But he will have to put some strains on the good good vibes next week if he wants to be true to his own standards.

Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo‘s wife, and Zeng Jinyan, Hu Jia‘s wife, have reportedly asked Köhler to advocate their husbands’ release from prison. Köhler is due to meet China’s party and state chairman Hu Jintao on Monday, and chief state councillor Wen Jiabao on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he will take part in the Shanghai Expo’s German National Pavillon Day. Closer cooperation in the fields of climate change and the global financial crisis will also play a role.

“Human rights must always be respected and be considered the most important matter worldwide,” German newsagency dpa quotes Zeng Jinyan. “China is much more open than in the past. We are making progress in a number of fields. But the persecution of those who advocate human rights never subsides.”

“It could be helpful if Köhler would bring Hu Jia’s case up,” Zeng reportedly said. Her husband was suffering from chronical hepatitis, and possibly liver cancer. After her petitions for a release and medical treatment outside prison had been turned down, she rated chances for such a solution as poor, writes dpa.

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Related
Zeng Jinyan’s Blog »

Friday, October 9, 2009

Civil Liberties: Is America being Harmonized?

While the Nobel Peace Prize Committee lauds U.S. president Barack Obama, particularly for his foreign policies, Rebecca MacKinnon, one of his self-confessed voters, is less happy with his record, concerning issues of privacy and freedom of expression anyway:

(…) Then there’s the matter of the media shield bill currently before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The idea is to pass a law that would protect journalists who refuse to divulge their confidential sources in federal court. It was bad enough that the definition of “journalist” has now excluded citizen media, bloggers, and student journalists completely. Even worse, the White House has now proposed changes to the bill that would substantially weaken professional reporters’ protections. (…)

Meantime, fifteen Chinese intellectuals jointly issued an Internet Human Rights Declaration. The Chinese version of it is here, and C.A. Yeung has posted an English translation of it.
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Related:
Great Firewall poised for a Wonderful Future, September 29, 2009
Real-Name Registration may become Mandatory, August 1, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Academic sparks Anger and Protests

More than one hundred petitioner demonstrated at Bei Da on April 9 (Sing Tao Daily, European Ed., April 10)

Petitioners protesting at Bei Da on April 9 (Sing Tao Daily, European Ed., April 10)

To be a petitioner in China is still risky. But even scientific dignitaries have to choose their words when commenting on them. Professor Sun Dongdong (孙东东), of Beijing University (北京大学), who apparently plays a role in drafting a mental health law,  has recently found out. The professor and head of the university’s judicial expertise center has apologized publicly for – allegedly – saying that 99% of people who take petitions to Beijing were suffering from mental disorders, and that forced hospitalization of mentally ill petitioners was appropriate.

Reportedly, students viewed or view him as one of Bei Da’s ten great humorous professors, but according to a Phoenix News online poll, not too many people found his theories on petitioners agreeable. On the other hand, Sun says that he had been misquoted by China Newsweek.

China Daily quotes Xu Zhiyong, a Beijing-based human rights lawyer, as saying that “to some extent, Sun is just a target. [...] arguing with a scholar is much easier than with an official.”

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