China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison October 1, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Sixty years of news media and censorship Just as the documentary was becoming very popular, the government decided to suspend its broadcasting. The “River Elegy” episode was a precursor of both the boldness that students would show a few months later in Tiananmen Square and the Party’s realisation that too much free expression could threaten its legitimacy.After the Tiananmen Square events, the documentary’s scriptwriter, Su Xiaokang (http://www.randomhouse.com/knopf/authors/xiaokang/index.html), had to flee to Hong Kong while some of the other people who had worked on the documentary were arrested.26 April 1989 – People’s Daily editorial mocking demonstrators backfires When former General Secretary Hu Yaobang died on 15 April 1989, several thousand students staged a series of peaceful demonstrations in Beijing in support of this Chinese-style moderniser, who had been ousted in 1987 for being too much of a reformer. Seeking to play down and even mock the student demos, People’s Daily ran an editorial on 26 April 1989 denouncing their “abnormal character” (http://bbs.service.sina.com.cn/thread-9-0/tree-161351-1821-11132-.html). “The aim of this small handful of people is to sow confusion within the Chinese people and disorder in the country, and thereby put an end to China’s stability and unity,” the editorial said. Far from silencing the protests, the humiliating and condescending statement just fanned the flames.The party’s reformists tried in vain to have the editorial retracted and to start a dialogue with the students. They included General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, who was ousted just after the 4 June massacre and placed under house arrest until the end of his life. Backed by Deng Xiaoping, then aged 83, the CPC old guard stuck to its original firmness. The dialogue between state media and the young demonstrators was quickly exhausted. Press freedom was one of the student demands and there were journalists who joined the movement. The result was a major purge in which several journalists, including Wang Juntao, ended up in prison.Several Chinese journalists based abroad defected after the 4 June massacre, showing the degree of support within the media for the pro-democracy movement. Since then, several journalists such as Shi Tao have been arrested for referring to the June 1989 protests.1 September 1997 – outspoken daily’s launchGovernment pressure is slightly more relaxed in the southern city of Guangzhou, where the daily Nanfang Dushibao was launched in September 1997. Hailed for its outspoken style, contrasting with the tiresome rhetoric in the official media, it was able to fulfil the watchdog role that media are supposed to play, exposing some of the scandals that have accompanied China’s hasty development.Frequently “purged” by the authorities, the newspaper made a speciality of denouncing officials in neighbouring provinces. Its success showed that the Chinese public was hungry for newspaper reporting that was more lively and aggressive. More newspapers were launched in its wake.Nanfang Dushibao’s finest demonstration of the crucial role the media can play in China was in 2003, when Sun Zhigang, a young graphic designer, was arrested by the Guangzhou police for lacking a residence permit and was found dead three days later. The local authorities tried to cover up his death but, under pressure from Nanfang Dushibao and Internet users, the policemen responsible were arrested and the residence permit law was amended. Nonetheless, the newspaper’s daring editor was later jailed.March 2003 – Internet makes cover-ups more difficultStill hesitant at the start of the decade, the Internet began to emerge in 2003 as a major tool for exposing corruption and abuses, and for putting pressure on the central and provincial governments. The central government’s censorship of the media’s coverage of the SARS pandemic in March 2003 was seen to be anachronistic. Imposed after local newspaper articles about unexplained deaths, the censorship just increased the dangers. Despite the WHO’s alerts and the Hong Kong media’s coverage, the government continued to censor the Chinese media while the entire world became more and more concerned about the pandemic.The Internet has demonstrated thousands of times since then that the flow of news and information is of vital important for the development of democracy and for the improvement of living standards in China. After 60 years of censorship, the Chinese press deserves independence. We call for an end to the control exercised over the media by the Propaganda Department, by the General Administration of Press and Publications and by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television. Receive email alerts 2 May 1956 – “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend”A speech by Mao in May 1956 launched the Hundred Flowers, a movement of openness that was followed by a crackdown on intellectuals. It was a notable example of Mao’s use of the press. Both movements, the Hundred Flowers and its ensuing corollary, the Anti-Right Movement, were launched through the media.His first speech seemed to partially lift the threat that had been hanging over journalists until then. Mao himself encouraged intellectuals to criticise the party with the aim of improving it. People’s Daily announced shortly afterwards that it would cover both socialist and capitalist countries, and all subjects, “agreeable or not.” In another sign of openness, the head of Xinhua went to London and Paris to seek inspiration from the way European news agencies worked. A People’s Daily editorial went to so far as to criticise the haste of political leaders “to do everything overnight.”The first “dazibao” – calling for the creation of a “democratic garden” – was posted on a wall at the prestigious University of Beijing on 17 May 1957. The poster, in which the author expressed his views in large characters, would soon be adopted by the Party as a recurrent tool for encouraging the masses and later civil society to express their grievances.This period of openness did not last. The counter-movement, an Anti-Right campaign, was launched in June 1957. An editorial in People’s Daily on 8 June denounced those who were trying to use the rectification campaign (the Hundred Flowers) to wage class struggle. In the end, around 400,000 “rightists,” including many journalists and intellectuals, would be sent to reeducation camps.10 November 1966 – People’s Daily article starts Cultural RevolutionA People’s Daily article entitled “On historical revisionism,” denouncing the 1961 play “Hai Rui” by historian Wu Han as heretical, is regarded as the start of the Cultural Revolution. The article’s author, none other than Propaganda Department chief Yao Wenyuan, accused Wu of implicitly criticising Maoism. Wu was arrested and executed three years later. His wife was driven to commit suicide. Their daughter ended up in a psychiatric hospital, where she also killed herself in 1976.It was this article criticising a work of literature that launched the Cultural Revolution, which the dictator and his followers would use to eliminate all debate in the press for more than a decade. The totalitarian madness drove journalists to practice a personality cult of Mao, while writers and journalists suspected of nostalgia for the “Old China” were persecuted, humiliated, jailed or murdered.Winter 1988 – “River Elegy” documentary subtly criticises PartyA liberalising wind was blowing over China in the 1980s and some journalists took advantage of it. An example of the new relative freedom was the broadcasting of the six-part documentary Heshang (“River Elegy”) on the state-owned national television station CCTV in the winter of 1988“River Elegy” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAbDU8GNFEA) drew an analogy between the Yellow River, the cradle of China’s ancient civilisation, now all silted up, and China’s current stagnation as a result of isolation and the conservatism of its leaders. The solution, according to the authors, was to open up to the blue ocean, the symbol of Japan and the West. April 27, 2021 Find out more News March 12, 2021 Find out more Reports ChinaAsia – Pacific In an affirmation of its authority, the Chinese government is today celebrating the 60th anniversary of the creation of the People’s Republic of China with fireworks and military parades but there is also a need to evaluate the past 60 years from the Chinese media’s viewpoint and in the name of the Chinese people’s right to be informed.Reporters Without Borders would like to participate in this anniversary in its own way, by highlighting some dates that shed light on the media’s evolution in China.The past 60 years have been difficult for journalists as the Maoist regime wanted to turn the media into nothing more than propaganda tools. Journalists and bloggers nowadays are no longer locked in a totalitarian grip but the censorship has never stopped. The Communist Party continues to exercise direct control over the news agency Xinhua, newspapers such as People’s Daily, and the national broadcaster CCTV.The Chinese media enjoyed a degree of freedom before the People’s Republic of China was proclaimed on 1 October 1949 but diversity of views and privately-owned media were swept away when Mao Zedong seized power. Although China’s journalists had been censored by political parties, above all the Kuomintang, and by Japanese occupiers, there had been a nascent press freedom that was crushed by the Communist Party.Editorial freedom came to a complete end in 1949. Intellectuals, including journalists, lived in permanent fear of arbitrary repression orchestrated by the regime until Mao’s death in 1976. The toll in human lives was appalling. Many journalists were killed or “committed suicide” and for decades the public had to endure mind-numbing propaganda. Some journalists abandoned professional ethics and participated actively in the all-out promotion of the party’s interests.The record has been more varied since China embarked on its economic reforms and, overall, the situation of journalists has improved. But the increase in freedom has not so much been bestowed by a generous regime as won by journalists who have risked being fired or jailed in the process.The Internet has offered new vistas to journalists and bloggers since the end of the 1990s. On the one hand, this new technology is a revolutionary tool for putting pressure on national and local authorities but it has also become a formidable propaganda tool for the government.Before 1 October – emerging space for mediaModern media on the western model did not appear in China until the 1890s. The first Chinese newspapers were run by foreigners, mainly missionaries or businessmen. Progressively-minded young Chinese students who had been initiated into journalism abroad also introduced reporting techniques.In wake of the 4 May 1919 movement, in which Chinese intellectuals called for the young republic’s democratisation and modernisation, publications appeared that were critical of the ruling nationalist party, the Kuomintang (KMT). Journalists dared to tackle a range of subjects including human rights, the criminal code, the death penalty and administrative reforms. But the Kuomintang’s hostility to newspaper independence gave rise to much tension in the 1930s.Although there was censorship in the first half of the 20th century, the Chinese media unquestionably enjoyed a degree of freedom that was due to the weakness of the state combined with the influence of western nations that had a presence in the territorial concessions.Dagongbao, a newspaper run by Zhang Jiluan until 1941, was an example of this modern, independent press that was critical of certain Kuomintang decisions without being a mouthpiece of the communists or the Japanese.1949 – propaganda apparatus created ChinaAsia – Pacific Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes RSF_en “The role and power of newspapers consist in their ability to present the Party’s line, its specific policies, goals and work methods, to the masses in the most effective and rapid of ways.” This is how Chairman Mao Zedong, in 1961, explained why journalists and intellectuals had to take their orders from the Communist Party.After creating propaganda media during the years of resistance, Mao introduced the Leninist press model in Beijing and the rest of China. As the French academic Alain Peyraube wrote: “The political and ideological role (…) of the main mass media (print media, radio, TV, posters, cinema) is primordial.” From the creation of the People’s Republic in 1949 onwards, the media are seen “not only as a collective propagandist and political agitator but also as an organiser” of society.Sixty years later, the Communist Party of China (CPC) continues to be attached to Mao’s theory of the “mass line.” The CPC’s leaders rule the masses. As they are not elected by the people, they are accountable not to the people but to the Party. When the theory is applied to journalism, the press becomes the means of communicating from top to bottom, the Party’s tool for “educating” the masses and mobilising popular will in support of socialism. The mass media are therefore not allowed to cover the internal processes by which policies are developed and, in particular, the debates within the CPC.The official Chinese press is the CPC’s “mouth and tongue” but also its eyes and ears. Many of the reports written by Xinhua’s journalists are never published but they are sent to the Party’s leaders.Under the CPC’s leadership, there have been four phases in the development of Chinese journalism. The first began with the creation of the People’s Republic in 1949 and ended with the start of the Cultural Revolution in 1966. During this period, private ownership of the press was suppressed and the party eliminated media diversity, establishing strong propaganda mouthpieces such as Xinhua. Centralised control of the media was stepped up with the Great Leap Forward, with stress being placed on class struggle. Grave misrepresentations of reality occurred, with millions of Chinese peasants dying of hunger because of one-sided press reports designed to ensure that industrial development was put first. China’s Cyber Censorship Figures News Help by sharing this information to go further Follow the news on China June 2, 2021 Find out more News Organisation
May 26, 2021
Top StoriesBreaking- “Seems Good Order”: Supreme Court Refuses To Interfere With Allahabad HC’s Order Dropping NSA Charges Against Dr Kafeel Khan LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK17 Dec 2020 12:00 AMShare This – xA Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice Bobde on Thursday refused to interfere with Allahabad High Court Order which quashed the detention of Dr.Kafeel Khan under the National Security Act (NSA).”It seems to be a good order by High Court…We see no reason to interfere with the High Court order,” CJI SA Bobde remarked.He however clarified that the observations in the High Court order…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginA Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice Bobde on Thursday refused to interfere with Allahabad High Court Order which quashed the detention of Dr.Kafeel Khan under the National Security Act (NSA).”It seems to be a good order by High Court…We see no reason to interfere with the High Court order,” CJI SA Bobde remarked.He however clarified that the observations in the High Court order shall not affect the prosecution on criminal cases.The CJI denied Senior Advocate Indira Jaising’s request to expunge the above observation that the judgment will not impact criminal prosecution.He said, “the criminal cases will be decided on their own merits. The observations in a preventive detention judgment cannot impact criminal prosecution.”The UP Government had moved the Top Court, stating that in the impugned order, the Allahabad High Court had “substituted its subjective satisfaction” in place of the authorities view.The Uttar Pradesh Government has filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the September 1 judgment of the Allahabad High Court which quashed the detention of Dr.Kafeel Khan under the National Security Act (NSA).The petition State of UP and others v Nuzhat Parween(mother of Dr Khan), filed on October 26, is likely to be listed before the Supreme Court on December 17, as per information available from the official website.UP Government’s plea against Dr.Kafeel Khan’s release was filed on October 26 and is likely to be listed before the Supreme Court on December [email protected] @UPGovt #KafeelKhan pic.twitter.com/VJQYxXi26l— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) December 12, 2020 A Gorakhpur-based lecturer, Dr. Kafeel Khan was arrested from Mumbai in January 2020, over a speech given on December 13 at the Aligarh Muslim University against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019. The Pediatrics professor was subsequently slapped with charge under stringent National Security Act, 1980 for “disturbing public order in the city and creating an atmosphere of fear and insecurity within the citizens of Aligarh”. A habeas corpus petition moved by Khan’s mother, Nuzhat Perween, was first listed before the Allahabad High Court on June 1, 2020 after the Supreme Court refused to intervene in the matter, stating that High Court is a more “appropriate forum”. On September 1, 2020, the High Court allowed the habeas petition with directions to effect immediate release of Dr Khan.On a perusal of the record maintained under NSA, the Allahabad High Court concluded that there were no grounds to either detain Khan, let alone to extend such detention twice, as a complete reading of his speech indicated that he ‘deprecated any kind of violence’.The Court noted that the speech actually gave a “call for national integrity and unity”. The judgment completely reproduced the speech given by Khan, which was termed “provocative” by the District Magistrate.”The speaker was certainly opposing the policies of the government and while doing so certain illustration are given by him, but that no where reflects the eventualities demanding detention. A complete reading of the speech primafacie does not disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence. It also no where threatens peace and tranquility of the city of Aligarh. The address gives a call for national integrity and unity among the citizens. The speech also deprecates any kind of violence. It appears that the District Magistrate had selective reading and selective mention for few phrases from the speech ignoring its true intent,” the Bench said in its strongly worded Judgment.The judgment delivered by a bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh held that the speech is not such that a reasonable man could have arrive at a conclusion as the inference drawn by the District Magistrate, Aligarh, who passed the detention order against Dr. Khan in February this year.Accordingly, it has revoked the NSA charges against Dr. Khan; the order of detention dated 13th February, 2020 passed by District Magistrate, Aligarh under the NSA Act and confirmed by the State of Uttar Pradesh has been set aside. The extension of the period of detention of detenue Dr. Kafeel Khan is also declared illegal.The HC observed that State failed to discharge its burden to establish that KafeelKhan’s December speech had “such a deleterious effect on the public order in district-Aligarh as had continued to exist up to 13.02.2020 necessitating preventive detention of the detenue”.Following the High Court order, Dr. Khan was released from Mathura jail on September 2, amid much fanfare.Pictures of Dr. Kafeel Khan after his release from Mathura jail following the Allahabad HC order quashing his detention under National Security Act. @Saurabhsherry#drkafeelkhan #kafeel_khan https://t.co/AFtJxhHeHd pic.twitter.com/IzJ71ZEmiz— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) September 1, 2020 Khan came in news first in August 2017, during the tragedy in Baba Raghav Das(BRD) Medical College Hospital, Gorakhpur, regarding the death of nearly 60 infants due to lack of oxygen supply. He was initially reported to have acted as a saviour by promptly acting to arrange emergency oxygen supply by paying out of his pocket. Despite being hailed as a hero for arranging cylinders as children gasped for breath, he was named in an FIR registered under Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. It was alleged that he was negligent in his duties, which resulted in a shortage of medical oxygen. He was arrested in September 2017, and was released only in April 2018 when the High Court allowed his bail application after observing that there existed no material on record to establish charges of medical negligence against Dr. Khan individually. He was also suspended from service alleging dereliction of duty. A report of the departmental enquiry absolved him of charges in September 2019.Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
November 18, 2020
It is estimated that one car in this system can replace more than ten private vehicles, and the value of this is especially evident in cities such as Dubrovnik, where the transport infrastructure is extremely busy. And the city of Dubrovnik will become the first city in Croatia with a 100% electric car sharing system. Thus, the first thirty Avant2Go vehicles will soon be deployed at seven locations in Dubrovnik. “The City of Dubrovnik is systematically working on solving the problem of traffic jams. In this sense, we have launched numerous projects, primarily aimed at our fellow citizens. Among them is the first comprehensive smart parking in Croatia, for which we were awarded the first prize in the Smart City category this year. This is a continuation of the story. The car sharing project completely fit into our vision of city development, so we supported its implementation in Dubrovnik, which thus becomes a pilot project and once again leads in introducing new technologies and smart solutions to raise living standards of its citizens. We believe that this service will help relieve traffic infrastructure and parking, which is currently one of our main focuses, and includes all other positive aspects that the City strives for such as sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental protection.”, Said Mato Franković, the mayor of Dubrovnik. Car sharing is a service intended for the residents of Dubrovnik, but also for their guests. It is tourist cities that must systematically develop the diversity and complementarity of mobility services. “At the same time, Dubrovnik is one of the most demanding cities in terms of traffic optimization, but also a jewel of cultural heritage. Services such as car sharing should therefore be in the service of mobility development, but also contribute to the sustainability of the city of Dubrovnik. This project strategically connects vital parts of the city with the most important traffic hubs. This connects Dubrovnik even more strongly and in an ecological way with the rest of the world”, Said Vladimir Markulin, director of Avant car in Croatia. The vehicle co-use service in Dubrovnik is called Avant2Go, and was introduced by the company Avant car, the leading provider of this service in the region. “Electric mobility and vehicle sharing are currently the biggest global trends in the automotive industry. We believe that 100% electric car sharing Avant2Go will respond to the needs of the people of Dubrovnik and their city. Among the main advantages of the system are: driving without noise and emissions, availability of the service to a wide circle of people, easy use of the service 24/7 via a smartphone and secured parking spaces”, Said Matej Čer, founder of Avant car. For starters, there will be thirty vehicles available, most Renault ZOE models, the fleet and the number of locations where vehicles are picked up and returned will increase according to user needs, Avant car points out. Car sharing is recognized worldwide as a system of using personal vehicles that is a quality alternative to ownership, and an excellent upgrade to the public transport network. From the second half of November, the vehicles will be deployed at seven locations: at Dubrovnik Airport, Gruž port, near the cable car leading to Srđ, in the Public Garage, on Lapad and in the parking lots of the Rixos and One Suite hotels. Vehicles are booked, unlocked and paid for by the app from the smartphone. As an upgrade of public transport, car sharing will in an ecological way contribute to relieving the city’s transport infrastructure, and will enable citizens to use vehicles without the worries of ownership. Photo: City of Dubrovnik
September 20, 2020
A Boynton Beach family wants justice after they allege that a Belle Glade funeral home employee took an unauthorized photo of their dead daughter and ended up posting it to social media. Deanna Washington, the mother of 27-year-old Jakiel Jones, who was hit and killed on I-95, says she doesn’t care about the damages in the lawsuit against Stevens Brothers Funeral Home, but rather wants to make sure this never happens to another family. This family was devestated when they lost their daughter in a car crash back in Jan. To make things worse, they say an employee at The Stevens Brothers Funeral Home in Belle Glade took a photo of their daughter’s body on the mortuary slab before her funeral & it wound up online. pic.twitter.com/rN5sP9XpGd— Lexi Nahl (@LexiNahlTV) July 18, 2019 According to a lawsuit the family filed Tuesday, an employee at the Stevens Brothers Funeral Home in Belle Glade took a photo of their daughter’s body on a mortuary slab before her funeral.The family claims the employee then sent the photo to non-family members and it was later posted to social media.“When I looked at the photo, I saw that it was taken in the prep room at the funeral home. My baby was partially clothed, on a mortuary slab with her hair pulled back,” said Deanna Washington, the mother of Jakiel Jones. An attorney for the family says Jones’ body was so disfigured, her parents requested a closed casket funeral.This is not the first complaint against the Stevens Brothers Funeral Home. In March, the funeral home was the subject of a state investigation.