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.
- Nanjing Blast Toll Rises
- North Korea World Cup Team Shamed, Reprimanded
- Uyghur Webmasters Sentenced
- Sichuan Holds Two Activists
- Lead Poisons Yunnan Children
- Vietnamese Police Use Tear Gas, Batons To Break Up Youth Killing Protest
- Mass Protest Over Proposed Cuts To Cantonese Broadcasts
- Khmer Rouge Figure Convicted, Victims Say Sentence Too Light
- North Koreans Send Funds Home
- Chinese Man’s Death in Custody Unresolved
- Uyghur Journalist Gets 15 Years
Residents say state-run media provide limited information on the disaster.
Authorities in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing said the death toll from a massive gas explosion at a plastics factory was still rising with the discovery of more bodies under the rubble.
“My home is about one kilometer away,” said a local resident surnamed Han who was referring to the site of the former Nanjing No. 4 Plastics Factory.
“At least 10 panes of glass were blown out in our home immediately when the blast went off,” he said.
“There were quite a lot of people injured. The police and the emergency teams are all at the scene doing rescue work.”
North Korea’s coach is excoriated in a public meeting.
North Korea’s soccer team got an official reprimand for losing all three of its World Cup matches, and the national coach could now be in danger for “betraying” the Stalinist country’s heir apparent, knowledgeable sources have said.
The players were summoned on July 2, on returning to Pyongyang, to a large auditorium at the Working People’s Culture Palace and subjected to a “grand debate” and criticism that they failed in the “ideological struggle,” according to a Chinese businessman.
Three webmasters from northwestern China are jailed for “endangering state security.”
Three webmasters, all members of the Uyghur ethnic minority, have been sentenced to jail for publishing content deemed politically sensitive by the Chinese government, according to a brother of one of the men.
The defendants are Dilshat Perhat, webmaster and owner of Diyarim; Nureli, webmaster of Salkin; and Nijat Azat, webmaster of Shabnam. They were sentenced last week in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwestern China.
Dilmurat Perhat said his brother Dilshat Perhat received five years in prison, while Nureli and Nijat Azat received three years and 10 years, respectively, for “endangering state security.”
Both men took part in recent civil rights campaigns in the southwestern Chinese province
Authorities in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan are holding two civil rights activists pending further investigation, one on subversion charges and a second for fraud, their lawyers said.
The case of Suining-based Liu Xianbin had already been transferred to the state prosecutor’s office, paving the way for his trial for “incitement to subvert state power,” police in the city were reported as saying by the Rights Protection website.
Calls to the national security branch of the Suining municipal police station and procuratorate, or state prosecutor, went unanswered during office hours Tuesday.
More cases are expected as children are sickened by local Chinese smelting operations.
More than 80 children in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan are suffering from lead poisoning linked to illegal gold smelting in the region, according to officials and local media.
An employee who answered the phone at the Beiya village clinic in the popular tourist region of Dali said it had seen an unusual number of cases of lead poisoning among children in recent weeks, all of whom had been referred to the county-level hospital for treatment.
“There really weren’t that many cases before. Now there are a lot more,” she said.
Vietnamese villagers demand to know how a local youth died
Police in Vietnam’s northeastern province of Bac Giang used tear gas and batons to break up a protest by hundreds of villagers over the apparent death in police custody of a local youth, witnesses said.
Witnesses who asked not to be named said an unknown number of people were injured, while others were seen being taken into custody. One witness said protesters had set fire to several police cars.
“On Sunday afternoon, there were too many people in the march to Bac Giang Province People’s Committee headquarters. The crowd was so dense it was difficult to move,” said one woman who asked not to be identified.
Plans to cut Cantonese-language broadcasts spark an outcry.
Thousands of people flocked to a suburb of Guangzhou in southern China over the weekend to protest government plans to reduce Cantonese-language broadcasting in the city ahead of the Asian Games in November.
“There are more than 2,000 people here right now,” one participant said Sunday.
“The first people who got here were asked to leave by the police, who kept telling them to leave.”
“Some people have brought guitars, to support Cantonese,” the protester said.
A second person at the scene said he was being followed by at least three police officers.
Survivors of the murderous regime say Torture Center Leader’s prison term isn’t enough.
Victims of the former Khmer Rouge chief of Cambodia’s infamous Tuol Sleng prison lashed out Monday at a prison term handed to him by a U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal, saying the 67-year-old who presided over the torture and killing of thousands could still one day walk free.
Kaing Guek Eav—known by his Khmer Rouge alias, Duch—was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity after a trial lasting 77 days in the Cambodian capital.
The court sentenced him to serve 19 years in prison, or 35 years less 16 years already served. Prosecutors had sought 40 years. There is no death penalty in Cambodia. Duch is the first Khmer Rouge figure to stand trial in connection with atrocities committed by a regime that has become synonymous with mass murder.
Resettled in the United States, North Koreans find ways to send money back home.
Since the United States opened its doors to North Korean defectors in 2004, close to 100 people have been granted residency, and promptly gotten to work sending funds to poverty-stricken relatives back home.
“There are a lot of people who send money to North Korea, because people back home have little to eat, and life is hard,” said Choi, a North Korean defector who was resettled in the United States after arriving in South Korea in 2006.
Choi said she sends U.S. $1,000-1,500 to family in North Korea once, sometimes twice a year.
A Chinese petitioner wages a 10-year battle to win redress for his brother’s death in prison
Wang Shengli has been petitioning the authorities in the northern port city of Tianjin for a decade over the death in prison of his younger brother Wang Shengjie.
Hounded by local officials and sentenced to a year in a labor camp in 2008 for disturbing public order, Wang said his decade of petitioning with no redress had left him close to despair.
“I thought about killing myself sometimes when I was in Beijing,” said Wang, who was detained by Tianjin officials on his way to a hospital appointment in the capital in August 2008.
“I thought about death. I couldn’t seem to find any hope in staying alive,” he said.
China imprisons a Uyghur journalist for “endangering state security.”
An ethnic Uyghur journalist arrested for talking to foreign media about the deadly July 2009 ethnic riots in far-northwestern China has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, according to supporters.
Outspoken Uyghur economics professor Ilham Tohti said the family of journalist and webmaster Gheyret Niyaz is distraught by the news of his verdict on charges of “endangering state security.”
“[His wife] Risalet and his mother are both very sad. Risalet said that no one can understand why the government gave him 15 years in jail, because he is a member of the Communist Party,” he said.