The following are headlines and below that area a fuller summary of stories broadcast by Radio Free Asia’s language services during the past week. These stories have been translated into English. Click on a link for the full version.
- Women’s Advocate ‘Fears Nothing’ China’s first legal aid lawyer.
- Renegade Thai General Vowed ‘Civil War’ Before His Death
- China Reels Over Kindergarten Attacks
- Tibetan Villagers Renew Mine Protests
- Cambodian Sand Dredging Threatens Environment
- Chinese Quake Parents Still Protest Over 2008 School Collapses
- Chinese Authorities Detain Family Church Members
- Arsons Reported in North Korea
- Uyghur Journalist Held As New Provincial Boss Vows Crackdown
- AIDS Activist Flees China
- Chinese Reformist Propaganda Czar Dies
Amid a worsening political climate for China’s nongovernment and civic groups, women’s rights lawyer Guo Jianmei says she is unruffled by the withdrawal of official support from her Women’s Legal Research & Services Center last month, with few fears for the future.
“I was the first legal aid lawyer in China,” Guo said in a recent interview.
“I have worked in government departments and as a journalist … But I think that the last 15 years have been the happiest in my life.”
A renegade Thai general shot here Thursday as the military planned to encircle the barricaded encampment of anti-government demonstrators predicted that the protests would become “civil warfare,” just hours before he was struck in the head with a bullet. He died this week.
“It is an insurgency warfare that will be developed into civil warfare. The mobs are flaring and other demonstrators from other provinces will join in,” Maj. Gen. Khattiya Sawatdiphol, known as Seh Daeng, told Radio Free Asia in one of his last interviews before the shooting.
China’s central government has ordered a nationwide security clampdown around schools following an attack on children in a Shaanxi kindergarten which left nine people dead, the fifth of its kind in less than two months.
Nine people, seven of them small children aged four and five, were confirmed dead at the Hanzhong Municipal 3201 Hospital after a local man went on a rampage with a kitchen cleaver before committing suicide.
Tibetan villagers in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) of western China have renewed protests against mining operations on mountains they consider sacred, despite a strong presence by armed Chinese police, according to Tibetan sources in the region.
The three mines targeted for protests are located at Tsongshen, Choeten, and Deshoe in Markham [in Chinese, Mangkang] county in the TAR. Markham was the site of similar protests last year against mining on a mountain called Ser Ngul Lo.
“Since May 8, China has imposed a virtual blackout in Tsongshen in Markham,” one source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
An international NGO has issued a damning report on the impact of sand dredging operations managed by Cambodian lawmakers with close ties to the country’s prime minister.
Global Witness, a London-based organization that monitors the use of natural resources around the world, said that two senators are monopolizing the trade of sand dredged along Cambodia’s coast for sale to Singapore for land reclamation.
The group said in its report Shifting Sand that dredging companies managed by senators Ly Yong Phat and Mong Reththy are causing devastating damage to Cambodia’s coastal ecosystem and lack transparency in their financial dealings with Singapore.
Parents who lost children in the devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake have vowed to keep up pressure on Beijing for a full investigation into charges of shoddy school construction, while others plan to mark the second quake anniversary under close surveillance.
“Today the authorities are still very nervous about this,” a parent surnamed Sang from Mianzhu city, whose child was killed in the collapse of the Fuxin No. 2 Primary School.
“Some of us have managed to get to Beijing. They are there now, and I have just got news from them,” Sang said. “They took a bus to a different location, and from there they took a train to Beijing.”
Police have detained two Christians belonging to a family church in central China for more than two weeks, according to witnesses.
The two detainees, Chen Fengming and Qin Gaiying, were part of a 30-member underground congregation who had gathered to pray in Henan province’s Neixiang county when security officers stormed their place of worship.
A witness, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution by authorities, said Tuesday in a phone interview that the raid had occurred around 10:30 am the morning of April 25.
Authorities in North Korea’s Yangang province have warned citizens of the isolated Stalinist state to be vigilant for “hostile elements” following a spate of arson attacks, local residents said.
“Fires of unknown origin have been set to several residential houses,” a resident of Yangang said in a recent interview.
“Ministry of Public Security agents and public prosecutors have been mobilized to conduct an investigation,” said the source, who added that there is an “absence of any leads or clues” in the attacks.
An ethnic Uyghur photographer detained shortly after publishing an anti-Chinese article online has gone missing and appears to be under arrest, according to knowledgeable sources in the western city of Kashgar who asked not to be identified.
Memet Turghun Abdulla, who worked in a photo shop in the 5th district of Yengisar county in Kashgar, was detained by State Security officials from Yengisar county in August 2009, but was later released and placed under house arrest, according to a Public Security official who asked not to be named.
He was detained after publishing an online article in Uyghur and Chinese in which he blamed Han Chinese factory workers for deadly attacks on Uyghurs in late June 2009 in far-away Shaoguan, in Guangdong province.
A leading AIDS activist just forced to relocate to the United States said he hopes his exile will allow him to concentrate on his work without the risk of interference by Chinese authorities.
Beijing-based AIDS rights advocate Wan Yanhai, 46, who founded the AIDS charity Aizhixing Institute, said in a phone interview from Philadelphia on Monday that he had been forced by Chinese authorities to leave China with his family last Thursday.
Wan said he spent seven days in Hong Kong after leaving Beijing by plane at the end of April and ultimately decided to relocate to the United States.
Zhu Houze, widely respected for bringing a fresh approach to China’s powerful propaganda machine at a time of unprecedented openness during the 1980s, has died following an illness, his relatives said.
“Zhu Houze died in Beijing at 16 minutes past midnight on May 9, 2010, after his illness proved untreatable,” Zhu’s family said in a statement at the weekend.
“He was 80 years old … His remains are to be cremated and the ashes returned to his hometown for burial,” the statement said, adding that Zhu had requested that no memorial service nor vigil be held in his honor.