Report by SCMP
Announcement comes as the authorities tighten control of content on the internet, amid already routine censorship of the media
China shut as many as 128,000 websites that contained obscene and other “harmful” information in 2017, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported late on Monday, citing government data.
Xinhua said 30.9 million illegal publications were confiscated over the course of the year, while 1,900 people were subject to criminal penalties, according to figures from the national office in charge of combating pornography and illegal publications.
China has been tightening controls over internet content as part of efforts to maintain “social stability”, taking on “vulgar” and pornographic content as well as the unauthorised dissemination of news. Continue reading “China shuts 128,000 ‘harmful’ websites in 2017: state media”
This short video, featuring ousted Hong Kong lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung (Long Hair) and Sally Tang Mei-ching of Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) has been produced by the Stop Repression in Hong Kong campaign.
Less than four minutes long, the video shows how the democracy struggle in Hong Kong has come under unprecedented attack in the past 12 months. One-fifth of the opposition in the legislature has been thrown out by the government and the courts on the flimsiest of pretexts. Young democracy activists have been served with harsh jail terms. Dozens of new political trials are looming in the first months of 2018.
The Chinese dictatorship is determined to stamp out Hong Kong’s culture of mass protests for democracy, which it fears could spread to China. Pressure is building from Beijing for the Hong Kong government – it’s puppet – to implement Article 23 national security laws that would massively curtail freedom of speech and make it a criminal offence to oppose the ruling ‘Communist’ Party (CCP).
State using systematic frame-ups and ‘carrot and stick’ methods to extract confessions
Adam N. Lee, chinaworker.info
On 26 December, the blogger Wu Gan, known by his online nickname Super Vulgar Butcher, was sentenced to eight years in prison by a court in Tianjin. This was the harshest sentence to be passed so far in a state crackdown on activism that began more than two years ago. It is common for China to hold trials of high profile dissidents during the Christmas period, to minimise international media coverage.
Wu was arrested in May 2015, two months before a major crackdown was launched against a group of around 250 lawyers and activists. Known as the ‘709 incident’, these mass arrests marked an escalation of state repression under ‘strongman’ ruler Xi Jinping which has since further intensified. China is currently experiencing its most severe repression since the post-1989 crackdown.
Continue reading “Eight year jail sentence for Chinese dissident Wu Gan”
Report from RFA
As governments jailed a record number of journalists around the world in 2017, a U.S.-based press freedom group says the ruling Chinese Communist Party has a total of 41 journalists currently behind bars under the newly strengthened leadership of President Xi Jinping.
In its annual report, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) hit out at U.S. President Donald Trump for making no mention of Beijing’s record on human rights during his recent trip to the country last month.
“Trump made no public reference to human rights, despite an ongoing crackdown that has led to the arrests of Chinese journalists, activists, and lawyers,” the group said.
The group also highlighted the use of “medical neglect” to target writers and journalists in jail and detention centers, citing the death of Nobel peace laureate and writer Liu Xiaobo in hospital under prison supervision last July, following a diagnosis with late-stage liver cancer.
Continue reading “China has 41 journalists behind bars amid ever-widening media controls”
A week hardly passes without the Chinese dictatorship stepping up its pressure on Hong Kong
Editorial from Socialist magazine (Journal of the CWI / Socialist Action)
Beijing is pushing for greater political control and to quell Hong Kong’s culture of mass democracy protests. Most recently it has been cranking up the volume with calls for Article 23, a national security law that would criminalise opposition to the Communist Party (CCP) regime.
Growing pro-independence sentiment among young people in Hong Kong has rattled the regime. Repression inevitably creates a backlash, but the dictatorship doesn’t learn and believes force and intimidation are the solutions to its problems.
Continue reading “Hong Kong: Only mass struggle can defeat repression”
Disrespect for national anthem punishible by three years in prison – latest installment in a wave of undemocratic measures
Adam N. Lee, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong)
The Stop Repression in Hong Kong campaign was launched to highlight the rapidly worsening attacks on democratic rights by Hong Kong’s government.
Socialist Action initiated this campaign in consultation with left organisations and worker activists in several countries. Key assistance has been given by the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI), the international socialist organisation with parties and groups in 40 countries. In October, protesters in 22 cities around the world – from Bangalore to Vancouver – answered the call of the campaign to demonstrate outside China’s embassies.
The great crackdown of 2017 has seen six legislators undemocratically ejected from Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (Legco), giving the pro-government parties a ‘super majority’ that enables them to rewrite the Legco rule-book in their favour.
This is not at all what the voters wanted in the September 2016 Legco elections, when the pro-government camp suffered one of its biggest defeats in terms of votes. In that election the combined opposition parties got 60 percent of the vote, an increase from 56 percent in the elections of 2012. This was obtained on the highest election turnout for two decades.
The establishment’s purge of the Legco has nothing to do with ‘rules’ or ‘oaths’ – that was a legal smokescreen created by the Chinese dictatorship and its Hong Kong puppets. Its real purpose is to attack the most radical voices in the democracy struggle, such as ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung, and try to eliminate these forces from the struggle. This will not succeed and can actually blow up in the government’s faces, increasing public support for the ‘radicals’.
Under Beijing’s pressure, which ultimately reflects its fear of mass radicalisation spreading from Hong Kong to China, the news media in Hong Kong is increasingly a megaphone for China’s dictatorship. Reporters Without Borders lowered Hong Kong’s press freedom ranking in 2017 to 73 (out of 180 countries). This ranking has been falling year after year since 2002, when Hong Kong was ranked 18 in the world. China is ranked 176, the fourth worst in the world.
Continue reading “2017: Year of the crackdown in Hong Kong”