Archive for the ‘free assembly’ Category

Group: China fails to improve human rights in 2008

January 13, 2009

China failed to enact democratic reforms in 2008 despite promises to do so, a private democracy watchdog organization said Tuesday.

The statement from the Washington, D.C.-based Freedom House came as the group unveiled its 2009 “Freedom in the World,” report, an analysis on levels of freedom in almost 200 countries around the globe.

By DEBBY WU, Associated Press Writer

Asia researcher Sarah Cook called China’s progress toward freedom in 2008 “disappointing,” particularly following its promises to expand opportunities for free expression in connection with the holding of the summer Olympics.

“There were restrictions on Internet access even after there was some opening of that when the Games first began, and … a lot of attacks and incidents of foreign journalists arrested,” Cook said. “Meanwhile, local journalists continue to face a very difficult environment, including arrests.”

Tuesday was the first time Freedom House publicized its annual report in Taiwan, which Beijing claims as part of its territory despite the fact the two sides split amid civil war in 1949.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen uprising in Beijing

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China widens “vulgar” online crackdown

January 9, 2009

China has widened an Internet crackdown on “vulgar” content to target 14 new sites, including Microsoft’s MSN, and chided fellow American giant Google for not doing enough to clean up.

China’s ruling Communist Party is wary of threats to its grip on information and has conducted numerous censorship efforts targeting pornography, political criticism and web scams, but officials flagged tougher steps this time.



MSN was cited for the large amount of inappropriate images on its film channel and some “selected pictures” in its social messaging section on a list posted on the website of the government-supported China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center (

Microsoft could not immediately be reached for comment.

The campaign coincides with efforts to stifle dissent and protest as the economy slows and China enters a year of sensitive anniversaries — particularly the 20th year since the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

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