Report: China increases media controls in 2009

Originally published by The Washington Post, 1 February 2010

BEIJING — China tried to increase control over its domestic media in 2009, issuing orders not to cover several topics including ethnic rioting in Xinjiang and corruption by government officials, an international press freedom group said.

In the report released Sunday by the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists, the group gave details on 62 specific orders issued to local media between January and November 2009 that illustrate the wide range of subjects deemed sensitive by the Chinese government.

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Uighurs returned to China ‘disappear’ says rights group

Originally published by BBC, 29 January 2010

China must account for the whereabouts of ethnic Uighurs forcibly repatriated from Cambodia, a US-based rights group has said.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said such groups had “disappeared into a black hole” on their return to China.

The Uighurs fled to Cambodia after mass ethnic riots in China in July. Beijing has referred to them as criminals.

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China cracks down on text messaging in Xinjiang

Originally published by The Guardian, 29 January 2010

Residents punished for spreading rumours and ‘splittist’ messages within days of services being switched back on.

Authorities in China’s troubled north-western region of Xinjiang have punished residents for spreading rumours and “splittist” content via text messages, within days of turning services back on, according to local media.

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US seeks China transparency in Xinjiang trials

Originally published by AFP, 28 January 2010

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States on Thursday urged China to be more transparent in its trials in the Xinjiang region as courts handed down more death sentences over last year’s deadly ethnic unrest.

The State Department voiced disappointment that China did not agree to US requests to observe the court proceedings.

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Four more death sentences over Xinjiang unrest

Originally published by BBC, 26 January 2010

China says four more people have been sentenced to death over last year’s ethnic unrest in Xinjiang province.

At least 25 people are now thought to have received death sentences over the violence – nine of the executions have already been carried out.

Nearly 200 people were killed in July during fighting between ethnic Uighurs and members of China’s Han majority in the regional capital, Urumqi.

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Xinjiang residents cope with losing Net access

Originally published by San Francisco Chronicle, 24 January 2010

They arrive at this gritty desert crossroads weary from a 13-hour train ride but determined. The promised land lies just across the railway station plaza: a large, white sign that says “Easy Connection Internet Cafe.”

The visitors are Internet refugees from China’s western Xinjiang region, whose 20 million people had been without links to the outside world since the government blocked virtually all online access, text messages and international phone calls after ethnic riots in July. It’s the largest and longest such blackout in the world, observers say. In the past week, a few restrictions have eased, but most remain in effect.

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Internet refugees flee Xinjiang

Originally published by Taipei Times, 23 January 2010

Xinjiang has no e-mail, no blogs, no instant messaging and only four restricted Web sites. Some travel more than 1,000km for services most of us can’t imagine living without

They arrive at this gritty desert crossroads weary from a 13-hour train ride, but determined. The promised land lies just across the railway station plaza: a large, white sign that says “Easy Connection Internet Cafe.”

The visitors are Internet refugees from China’s Xinjiang, whose 20 million people have been without links to the outside world since the government blocked virtually all online access, text messages and international phone calls after ethnic riots in July. It’s the largest and longest such blackout in the world, observers say.

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Cambodia: Rights Defenders Under Fire

Originally Published by Human Rights Watch, 21 January 2010

(New York) – Cambodia’s respect for basic rights dramatically deteriorated in 2009 as the government misused the judiciary to silence government critics, attacked human rights defenders, tightened restrictions on press freedom, and abandoned its international obligations to protect refugees, Human Rights Watch said today in its new World Report 2010.

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