R I P Liu Xiaobo

desicanuk

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Just heard Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, who was China's most prominent human rights and democracy advocate, has died aged 61.

International Tibet Network Statement on the Death of Liu Xiaobo 13 July 2017:

Staff of the International Tibet Network Secretariat are devastated to hear that Liu Xiaobo has died less than 3 weeks after news emerged that he had liver cancer. Despite considerable international pressure, Xi Jinping refused to allow Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, to travel overseas for medical treatment or palliative care.

“This is a tragedy of massive proportions” said Tenzin Jigdal, International Tibet Network’s International Coordinator. “China has lost one of the greatest champions for a democratic future; the international community has lost an inspirational advocate of social responsibility, and the Tibet movement has lost a true friend. We are appalled at the inhumane refusal of China’s leaders to allow Liu Xiaobo to obtain timely medical care and taste real freedom, and we send our deepest condolences to Liu Xia and all Liu Xiaobo’s family and friends.”

Liu Xiaobo was China’s best known dissident and only Nobel Peace Laureate. When he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2010, Tibet Network said that the Nobel Committee had “illuminated the human and political rights of the people in China and Tibet and created a sense of hope.” Speaking today, Executive Director Alison Reynolds said: “We call on governments around the world to make sure that sense of hope does not die along with Liu Xiaobo. FIrst and foremost, world leaders must jointly and robustly press China to allow Liu Xiaobo’s wife Liu Xia and brother-in-law Liu Hui to go wherever they wish, and they must firmly hold China to account for Liu Xiaobo’s detention and late diagnosis of cancer”.

Liu Xiaobo has been, and will remain, a powerful symbol of China’s appalling record of detaining citizens that participate in discussions about democracy and freedom and its treatment of political prisoners. Two years ago Chinese officials acknowledged verbally to a trusted source that Liu Xiaobo, Tibetan Buddhist leader Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti were the “top three” political prisoners. Two of these three – Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and Liu Xiaobo – are now dead , an appalling indictment of China’s treatment of political detainees.

“Our Governments must not allow any decrease in attention and pressure on China in the aftermath of Liu Xiaobo’s demise; rather the reverse,” said Mandie McKeown, Tibet Network’s Campaigns Coordinator. “To honour him, efforts must be redoubled to secure the release of all human rights defenders held in Chinese detention; Chinese, Tibetan, Uyghur and more. The international community simply cannot allow China to brush this under the carpet and must push China to take urgent, meaningful strides to reform the current political and human rights abuses that are so prevalent”.

Prominent among the many prisoners that world governments should be taking action on are Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti, Tibetans Tashi Wangchuk and Yeshe Choedron, Chinese human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong and Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai.

Liu Xiaobo had been a long time supporter of Tibet, openly expressing support for greater freedom for the Tibetan people and championing democratic reform in China. In 1996 he was sentenced to three years in a labour camp for writing a joint letter to China’s then President Jiang Zemin supporting Tibetan self-determination and calling for dialogue with the Dalai Lama and is believed to be the first Chinese person to be sentenced for speaking up for Tibet. In March 2008, as the Tibetan Plateau was swept by uprisings, he was a co-author and signatory of “Twelve Suggestions for Dealing with the Tibetan Situation”.

Liu Xiaobo’s 11-year prison sentence was handed down a year after his arrest on 8 December 2008 for his part in writing and promoting ‘Charter 08’, which calls for legal reforms, democracy and protection of human rights in China. Before his sentencing he said in his ‘Final Statement’, “Freedom of expression is the basis of human rights, the source of humanity and the mother of truth. To block freedom of speech is to trample on human rights, to strangle humanity and to suppress the truth.”

R I P Liu Xiaobo. Thank you for standing up and speaking out for human
rights.I salute your courage.
 

HariPrasad-1

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Just heard Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, who was China's most prominent human rights and democracy advocate, has died aged 61.

International Tibet Network Statement on the Death of Liu Xiaobo 13 July 2017:

Staff of the International Tibet Network Secretariat are devastated to hear that Liu Xiaobo has died less than 3 weeks after news emerged that he had liver cancer. Despite considerable international pressure, Xi Jinping refused to allow Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, to travel overseas for medical treatment or palliative care.

“This is a tragedy of massive proportions” said Tenzin Jigdal, International Tibet Network’s International Coordinator. “China has lost one of the greatest champions for a democratic future; the international community has lost an inspirational advocate of social responsibility, and the Tibet movement has lost a true friend. We are appalled at the inhumane refusal of China’s leaders to allow Liu Xiaobo to obtain timely medical care and taste real freedom, and we send our deepest condolences to Liu Xia and all Liu Xiaobo’s family and friends.”

Liu Xiaobo was China’s best known dissident and only Nobel Peace Laureate. When he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2010, Tibet Network said that the Nobel Committee had “illuminated the human and political rights of the people in China and Tibet and created a sense of hope.” Speaking today, Executive Director Alison Reynolds said: “We call on governments around the world to make sure that sense of hope does not die along with Liu Xiaobo. FIrst and foremost, world leaders must jointly and robustly press China to allow Liu Xiaobo’s wife Liu Xia and brother-in-law Liu Hui to go wherever they wish, and they must firmly hold China to account for Liu Xiaobo’s detention and late diagnosis of cancer”.

Liu Xiaobo has been, and will remain, a powerful symbol of China’s appalling record of detaining citizens that participate in discussions about democracy and freedom and its treatment of political prisoners. Two years ago Chinese officials acknowledged verbally to a trusted source that Liu Xiaobo, Tibetan Buddhist leader Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti were the “top three” political prisoners. Two of these three – Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and Liu Xiaobo – are now dead , an appalling indictment of China’s treatment of political detainees.

“Our Governments must not allow any decrease in attention and pressure on China in the aftermath of Liu Xiaobo’s demise; rather the reverse,” said Mandie McKeown, Tibet Network’s Campaigns Coordinator. “To honour him, efforts must be redoubled to secure the release of all human rights defenders held in Chinese detention; Chinese, Tibetan, Uyghur and more. The international community simply cannot allow China to brush this under the carpet and must push China to take urgent, meaningful strides to reform the current political and human rights abuses that are so prevalent”.

Prominent among the many prisoners that world governments should be taking action on are Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti, Tibetans Tashi Wangchuk and Yeshe Choedron, Chinese human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong and Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai.

Liu Xiaobo had been a long time supporter of Tibet, openly expressing support for greater freedom for the Tibetan people and championing democratic reform in China. In 1996 he was sentenced to three years in a labour camp for writing a joint letter to China’s then President Jiang Zemin supporting Tibetan self-determination and calling for dialogue with the Dalai Lama and is believed to be the first Chinese person to be sentenced for speaking up for Tibet. In March 2008, as the Tibetan Plateau was swept by uprisings, he was a co-author and signatory of “Twelve Suggestions for Dealing with the Tibetan Situation”.

Liu Xiaobo’s 11-year prison sentence was handed down a year after his arrest on 8 December 2008 for his part in writing and promoting ‘Charter 08’, which calls for legal reforms, democracy and protection of human rights in China. Before his sentencing he said in his ‘Final Statement’, “Freedom of expression is the basis of human rights, the source of humanity and the mother of truth. To block freedom of speech is to trample on human rights, to strangle humanity and to suppress the truth.”

R I P Liu Xiaobo. Thank you for standing up and speaking out for human
rights.I salute your courage.
This means he was murdered by XI by disallowing medical teratment.
 

sorcerer

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China's New Media Strategy: The Case of Liu Xiaobo

Instead of hushing up issues it find embarrassing, China is now aggressively manipulating the public discourse.

As Chinese Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo lay on his deathbed in a hospital late June, a mysterious video surfaced on YouTube, showing him undergoing medical treatment while in custody and telling medical staff he “greatly appreciated” the care he was given.

While news of his terminal liver cancer was met with shock and disbelief around the globe, China’s state propaganda machine swiftly moved into high gear to make sure its version of the story was dominating public discourse.

When Liu died two and a half weeks later, another video appeared on a Shenyang provincial government website, with a narrator saying Liu had been treated by top medical experts and foreign doctors in a “humanitarian spirit.” Just hours after his passing, doctors explained to a press conference that Liu couldn’t have traveled abroad to seek treatment as he wished due to the severity of his illness.

At another press conference, a two-minute video clip of the government-controlled, sparsely-attended funeral and the scattering of ashes into the sea was shown to journalists from mainly overseas media outlets. Amid accusations that the family was pressured into accepting the authorities’ arrangement to ensure there will be no gravestone, Liu’s elder brother extolled the benefits of “sea burial” at the briefing and thanked the party and the government profusely for the “humanitarian care” shown to his family.

These events are just the latest example of how the Chinese authorities have become increasingly savvy in their use of modern media tools to shape their own versions of events — while behind the scenes, the suppression continues to intensify.The government’s attempt to monopolize the storyline related to Liu’s illness and death is part of a radical change in the way the Chinese government uses the media. Instead of hushing up issues it found embarrassing like in the past, it is now aggressively manipulating the public discourse.

Although Chinese media has always been controlled by the Communist Party, there had been periods of relative liberalization after the Cultural Revolution in the early 1980s and again in the late 1990s and 2000s, when the press was allowed a degree of freedom to run investigative stories that helped uncover corruption and limit the power of local governments. But under Xi Jinping, the media has become a tool which exists to shore up the authority of the Communist Party, and not to challenge it.

The leadership’s intolerance for a free media cannot be more apparent. In 2013, an internal party edict known as Document No. 9 condemned seven subversive influences on society, one of which was “Western notions of press [freedom],” among other concepts such as “Western constitutional democracy” and “universal values” such as human rights and free speech.

Xi’s ambitious push to further the Chinese government’s dominance in public discourse was revealed on February 19, 2016. He made a high-profile tour to three key state media outlets in Beijing — the People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency and China Central Television — ordering staff to dedicate their loyalty to the party. “We must tell a good story of China,” Xi told visibly excited staff members, including foreigners, during a prime-time newscast.In a speech to a party conference on the same day, Xi emphasized that the news media must uphold the “party’s leadership” and insist on “the correct guidance of public opinion” and “positive propaganda.”

The state media “bears the party surname,” Xi was quoted by People’s Daily as saying.

“Everything in the party’s news and public opinion work must materialize the will of the party, reflect the party’s opinion, safeguard the central party leadership’s authority and unity,” he said.

The state media used to maintain a stony silence over the suppression of activists, social unrest, and other news deemed sensitive. But in recent years, selected party news outlets or government organs are deftly using state-controlled and social media tools to take the lead in shaping the Chinese government’s own versions of these events.

“Troublemakers” such as activists and rights lawyers are now portrayed as agents of “foreign hostile forces” intent on destabilizing the regime. After the government rounded up over 300 human rights lawyers and activists in a crackdown that started July 2015, the Communist party mouthpiece People’s Daily accused the lawyers at the core of the crackdown of being part of a “major criminal gang” that “seriously disturbed social order.” When four of them went on trial in August last year, a video on the microblog of the Communist Youth League featured images of rights lawyers and activists at scenes of protests, accusing them of subverting state power under the pretext of “democracy, freedom and rule of law.” The video warned against the danger of a “color revolution,” vowing that China would never become “the next Soviet Union.”If simply smearing the reputation of these “enemies of the state” is not enough, then there are “self-confessions” on state television. When dissident journalist Gao Yu was detained by the authorities for allegedly “leaking state secrets abroad” in 2014, she was shown on state television admitting to her supposed guilt. She later retracted her confession, saying it was made under duress. Peter Dahlin, a Swedish NGO worker detained for his human rights work, was paraded on state television in early 2016, claiming he had “violated Chinese law… and hurt the feelings of the Chinese people” — after he regained freedom he said he had been forced into making an appearance.

The party also uses social media to promote its campaigns. As part of a national security drive earlier this year, cartoons and video clips were posted on the microblog accounts of China Central Television, the Communist Party Youth League, and the Ministry of Public Security showing how ordinary people could identify spies and report suspicious people to the authorities. “Come on, be brave, go and report!” said a narrator to the beat of rap music on one video.

In the case of Liu, most state media outlets stayed mute with the exception of the Global Times and the English version of People’s Daily. These papers, which are the Chinese government’s voice to the outside world, lashed out at Western countries over their criticism of Liu’s treatment in strident commentaries.

Global Times’ English edition said Liu was “a victim led astray by the West” while the People’s Daily insisted that Liu had “long engaged in illegal activities aimed at overthrowing the current government.” The Chinese edition of Global Times accused “Western hostile forces” of meddling in China’s internal affairs and argued that China has already shown mercy to Liu, whom it called “a criminal,” without mentioning that he was a Nobel Peace prize laureate.

To hide the harsh reality in circumstances related to Liu, the Chinese authorities’ attempts to control public discourse, or the “guidance of public opinion,” continues to be seen even after his death.

Liu’s name remains blocked on internet search engines and social media sites in China — even candle-shaped emoji have been banned.

A Shenyang city government spokesman told reporters after Liu’s funeral that his widow was “free,” but two weeks after his death, she is still nowhere to be found. Liu Xia has been under house arrest since her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. Apart from appearing in images released by the authorities, she has not been seen in public and her friends are unable to reach her, even by phone.

Supporters of Liu Xiaobo who gathered by the seaside in several cities to commemorate him were taken away by the police. Others who gathered to commemorate him privately were questioned by the police.

The suppression continues.

Verna Yu is a freelance journalist based in Hong Kong. She has covered China for over a decade and has been the recipient of seven Human Rights Press Awards and three SOPA awards. She worked for the South China Morning Post, AP, and AFP and her stories have been published in the Diplomat, the New York Times, Ming Pao, and Hong Kong Economic Journal.

http://thediplomat.com/2017/07/chinas-new-media-strategy-the-case-of-liu-xiaobo/
 

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