Reporters without Borders react to Xiang Nanfu’s release
Xiang Nanfu (向南夫), a Chinese journalist, has recently been released on parole after what Reporters without Borders (RSF) suspect was a forced concession. Xiang’s “confession” was broadcast by CCTV 13, a state-run Chinese television channel targeted at a Mandarin-speaking audience beyond the PRC. According to RSF,
on 13 May, ten days after his arrest, he was shown on CCTV13 confessing to having “smeared the Party and the government”.
Announced his release yesterday, the police said he was being freed on parole “because of his poor health and above all because of a relatively good attitude in pleading guilty.”
Xiang’s forced confession was broadcast just five days after a similar “confession” by the well-known journalist Gao Yu. Broadcasting forced confessions is often used to discredit dissident news and information providers.
RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire calls on
the European Council to adopt sanctions against CCTV13 and its executives – China Central Television CEO Hu Zhanfan, CCTV board member Jiao Li and CCTV vice-president Zhang Changming – for broadcasting these forced confession.
Xiang Nanfu had reportedly been charged with publishing “false stories” on Boxun, a dissident website, that “seriously harmed” China’s image. The BBC, in May this year, described Boxun as a website that ran sometimes thinly sourced stories.
China Human Rights 3 Protection Act of 2014 Bill
Note: documents linked to underneath may be removed or changed – accessed and quoted from on August 29 – JR
According to Voice of Tibet (VoT), a Tibetan exile radio station based in Norway and broadcasting on shortwave from Tajikistan, U.S. Congress is considering a bill (no. 5379) that would intend to protect internationally acknowledged freedom of speech, free flow of information and and foreign journalists and media workers in China. The bill may also limit visa for high-ranking officials in China’s state media wanting to visit the US, and could revoke visa for Chinese media workers with Chinese media in the US.
The issue of foreign journalists and media workers is addressed on page 16 of the draft, section 4: To further protect the internationally recognized right of free expression, ensure the free flow of information, and protect foreign journalists and media personnel in China.
Section 4 also addresses competitiveness (page 19). Chinese media organizations that could become targets for sanctions are listed on page 17.
The story about the bill sponsored by Smith has so far mainly been popular on dissident websites, and the apparent lack of mainstream media interest seems to suggest that the initiative won’t develop much traction in Congress.
Opinions from readers more familiar with American politics are welcome.