Canadian Press— Canada should allow lawsuits against foreign officials accused of torture by people now living in this country, an Ontario court heard Monday.
Lawyers for Chinese Falun Gong members said victims would otherwise have no way to get redress for abuse from those with power and influence abroad.
“These sorts of violations should not be committed with impunity, and Canada should not allow impunity for these crimes,” human- rights lawyer David Matas said outside court.
Lawyers have challenged Canada’s immunity provision in Canadian courts in recent years.
They say states are obliged to provide redress to all survivors of torture regardless of where it occurred.
Foreign Policy: “Sure, Google’s retreat from China is a big story. But we may be missing the bigger one.”
The Taipei Times has done an interesting kind of break down of the various departments of censorship of China’s internet.
“When vicious inter-ethnic violence broke out in Urumqi last year, Chinese authorities flooded the city with security forces. But next came an unexpected step: They cut off Internet access across the vast northwestern region of Xinjiang. Controlling the information flow was as crucial as controlling the streets, it seemed. Eight months on, the net remains largely inaccessible in Xinjiang, though officials claim it will be restored. The small number of sites that were recently unblocked are heavily censored; only a severely restricted e-mail service is available.”
It’s interesting to hear all of the codes for different concepts in China. Both the party and the people have their separate codes. I’d say, the parties codes are meant to fool people, for example “harmony” and “social stability” actually means accepting to be oppressed to whatever degree the party decides. But people seem to be pretty smart by using coded wording for issues related to human rights and the party itself. It’s smart because the great firewall would have to censor so many ordinary words if they were used as codes, making it very hard for them to do that. That’s just my opinion. I don’t really understand the following, but apparently it’s a play on words.
Exerpt from Financial Times: A local newspaper owned by the Chinese Communist party has defied its prop-aganda masters and reprinted an internet pun mourning Google’s exit from the mainland.
“The ‘ancient dove’ is an invisible searching bird . . . which faces extinction in China,” according to the article in Saturday’s Chongqing Evening News.
Gu Ge, the Mandarin Chinese words which mean “ancient dove”, sound like Google’s Chinese name.
The article’s appearance was all the more surprising because the Communist party’s propaganda department issued orders to all state-owned media not to cover the Google story in any way other than that sanctioned by Beijing.
NYT discusses several points including the surge in searches for Falun Gong and Tienanmen during the hours when Google was changing over to HK service. I still am not exactly sure what happened on that day, but I know that visitors to this blog quadrupled at that time.
The China Digital Times reported last week that the Chinese State Council Information Office had ordered all online news sites to “carefully manage the information in exchanges, comments and other interactive sessions” and “clean up text, images and sound and videos which support Google, dedicate flowers to Google, ask Google to stay, cheer for Google and others that have a different tune from government policy.”
NYT: A prominent Chinese scholar and film critic who was scheduled to speak at an academic conference in the United States this week said Friday that she had been barred from leaving China as punishment for her commentary on human rights and free speech.
I’m not at all surprised, but I don’t think most people know why that would be worth so very much to the party to block it from people’s view, that it faces all this condemnation and spends so much resources on doing.
The emphasis the Chinese regime places on blocking information about Falun Gong is evident in the design of the Green Dam software.
Originally introduced in the summer of 2009, Green Dam software was an attempt by the Chinese regime to move censorship mechanisms from the Internet right onto the personal computer. Using a library of keywords, it blocks prohibited searches from going forward.
Researchers at the University of Michigan found that there were two lists of keywords. One list of 2,700 words primarily targeted pornography. The other, a list of 6,500 words was called Falunwords.lib, and 90 percent of the words were related to Falun Gong.
The emphasis given to Falun Gong in the Green Dam software can also be seen in how the Chinese version of the popular communications software, Skype, was used to spy on and filter the messages of users. In September 2008, researcher Nart Villeneuve from the Information Warfare Monitor unit at the University of Toronto discovered that TOM-Skype was conducting surveillance, logging, and partial filtering of sensitive keywords. By far the largest group of messages logged, apart from those containing the words “communist” and “communist party,” were those related to Falun Gong.
An American in China: Communism in China raises many questions. For instance, people ask if China is really Communist. The short answer is yes, at least in political structure. Hu Jin Tao is the president and leader of the party ( the word everyone uses to avoid saying the communist party), and the party (communist party) still wields the big stick. As an example, to join Stat Owned Enterprises (SOE’s) or at least progress therein, one should join the (communist) party. I have a friend from America, who was forced to join the (communist) party, in order to obtain his position with a local joint venture. The man is as white as they come, but he was to be the plant manager of this JV. In order to do so, he had to become a member of the part- so, he is now a card carrying member of the CCP or Chinese Communist Party.
I am thinking yes, we should including big companies. The CCP can control the middle class Chinese population because they are making money, and therefore things aren’t improving quickly. Of course, I want the country to be successful and all people in China to make money, but, if it means that innocent people are have to suffer in labour camps etc etc etc. it’s not right and nobody should participate in supporting this regime.
ET: Google may not be alone for long. GoDaddy, an internet-domain firm best known in America for advertisements floating somewhere between provocative and bizarre, told a Congressional committee that CCP regulations for domain registration—including one that requires a domain buyer provide photo identification—left them “concerned for the security of individuals,” enough so that they could follow Google out the door.
An even bigger surprise came from India, where Dell is opening up a new computer production plant. According to India’s Prime Minister, this could be the start of a dramatic shift. The Daily Telegraph reported:
“Mr. Singh told the Hindustan Times: ‘This morning I met the chairman of Dell Corporation. He informed me that they are buying equipment and parts worth $25 billion from China (£16 billion). They would like to shift to safer environment with a climate conducive to enterprise with security of legal system.’…
NYT : In a brief telephone interview on Sunday, Mr. Gao said that he was no longer in police custody, but that he could not give any details of his predicament. “I’m fine now, but I’m not in a position to be interviewed,” he said from Wutai Mountain, the site of a well-known Buddhist monastery. “I’ve been sentenced but released.”
Then he turned melancholy and made an allusion to his wife and children in the United States. “They are like kites that have had their strings cut, and now they are floating far off into the sky,” he said before hanging up.
It’s obvious he is under serious threat. He has already spoken about his being tortured and he is just lucky to be alive, but he cannot talk. He’s being watched and threatened. Can’t somebody save him?!
Maybe Mafred Nowak can help him? Or some christian people, the US gov’t???