Archive for ‘Censorship’

11/05/2014

Chinese elite push for release of jailed Nobel laureate | Reuters

A group of “princelings“, children of China’s political elite, has quietly urged the Communist Party leadership to release jailed Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo on parole to improve the country’s international image, two sources said.

Workers prepare the Nobel Peace Prize laureate exhibition ''I Have No Enemies'' for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo December 9, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Liu‘s release is not high on the agenda of the party, which is trying to push through painful economic, judicial and military reforms amid the most extensive crackdown on corruption in over six decades, the sources with ties to the leadership said, requesting anonymity.

But the back channel push for Liu’s parole shows that a debate is taking place among leaders about damage to China’s reputation caused by his jailing. It also suggests the ruling elite are not monolithic when it comes to views on dissent.

Liu, 58, a veteran dissident involved in the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests crushed by the army, was jailed for 11 years in 2009 on subversion charges for organizing a petition urging an end to one-party rule. He won the Nobel Peace Prize the following year.

“For many princelings, the pros of freeing Liu Xiaobo outweigh the cons,” one of the sources said. “Liu Xiaobo will definitely be freed early. The question is when.”

He is eligible for parole after serving half his term.

via Chinese elite push for release of jailed Nobel laureate | Reuters.

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07/05/2014

China detains five activists before 25th anniversary of Tiananmen crackdown | Reuters

China on Tuesday detained five rights activists, three lawyers and a rights group said, after they attended a weekend meeting that called for a probe into the suppression of pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Chinese lawyer Pu Zhiqiang (R) speaks to journalists outside a courthouse in Chongqing municipality, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

Among those held was Pu Zhiqiang, a prominent free-speech lawyer, who has represented many dissidents, including artist Ai Weiwei and an activist of the “New Citizens’ Movement”, a group that urges Chinese leaders to disclose their assets. He was detained on a charge of “causing a disturbance”, two lawyers said.

He has also opposed the system of forced labor camps, which the government has abolished, and featured prominently in state media for that campaign – unusual for a government critic.

Also detained were dissident Liu Di and Xu Youyu, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think-ta