News / Asia

2 Chinese Bloggers Arrested in Crackdown on Rumors

FILE - Chinese are seen working on computer work stations. Called 'bo ke' in Chinese, blogs are hugely popular, especially among the young, despite strict rules on content enforced by the government.
FILE - Chinese are seen working on computer work stations. Called 'bo ke' in Chinese, blogs are hugely popular, especially among the young, despite strict rules on content enforced by the government.
Reuters
Police in China have arrested an influential blogger and are holding a cartoonist in a widening crackdown on online “rumor-mongering”, friends and a lawyer for one of them said on Thursday.

Hundreds of people have been detained since August, say Chinese media and rights groups, as the government has stepped up its campaign to banish rumors. Most have been released, but some are still being held on criminal charges.
 
The latest moves targeting the bloggers appear to suggest the new government, led by President Xi Jinping, is expanding its crackdown on dissent, although some critics have warned the move could backfire on Communist Party leaders.
 
“The use of these dictatorship tools to combat the criticism and grievances within civil society could be counterproductive,” said Zhang Lifan, a historian, adding that it could fuel mistrust. “It may not be beneficial for maintaining the regime.”
 
Dong Rubin, 51, who runs an Internet consulting company, has been arrested in southwestern Kunming on “suspicion of falsely declaring the capital in his company's registration”, state news agency Xinhua said late on Wednesday.
 
Dong was also suspected of illegal business operations and the crime of “creating disturbances”, Xinhua added.
 
Dong, who was previously invited by officials in southern Nanjing to speak about being an “online opinion leader”, is well known for participating in a 2009 online probe into the sudden death of a man in a detention house in Yunnan province.
 
State broadcaster CCTV showed images of Dong admitting to “exaggeration and selectively publishing information” to benefit clients. In September, state media also aired a confession by Chinese-American venture capitalist, Charles Xue, one of China's best known online commentators.
 
Dong's lawyer, Yang Mingkua, told Reuters by telephone it was not convenient for him to be interviewed, but referred to a legal opinion published on his microblog.
 
“When the air is filled with voices that are unharmonious, that is not a sign of weakness, but a symbol of strength,” Yang wrote on the microblog in September, describing Dong's case. “The freedom to speak and criticize is a citizen's right.”
 
Yang said Dong believed he was “fundamentally innocent” in his actions on the Internet.
 
In Beijing, the capital, cartoonist Wang Liming was taken into custody at midnight on Wednesday and has not yet been freed, his friend, Wu Gan, told Reuters by telephone.
 
Wu said police told Wang's girlfriend they summoned him for forwarding a microblog post about a stranded mother holding a baby who had starved to death in the flood-hit eastern city of Yuyao.
 
“Suppression of this kind by the Chinese government is of no use,” Wu said. “Rumors arise because there's no freedom to communicate on the Internet. Arresting people will not solve the problem because the problem does not lie with the people, but with the government.”
 
The detentions come slightly over a month after China unveiled tough measures to stop the spread of what it calls irresponsible rumors, threatening jail terms of three years if untrue online posts are widely reposted.
 
China's top court and prosecutor have said people will be charged with defamation if online rumors they create are visited by 5,000 internet users or reposted more than 500 times.
 
Liu Hu, a Chinese investigative journalist accused of corruption was arrested on a defamation charge late in September, his lawyer said last week.
 
The Internet clampdown reveals the insecurity of the leaders of the ruling Communist Party, said Bo Zhiyue, a professor of Chinese politics at the National University of Singapore.
 
“They are trying to send China back all the way to the Stone Age,” Bo said. “Where is the hope for political reform? Zero.”

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More