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Censorship and freedom of information during the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party

Censorship and freedom of information during the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party

Published on Thursday 8 November 2012. Updated on Wednesday 14 November 2012.
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News feed: Comments and information on censorship and freedom of information in China, between 8 and 14 November 2012, during the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

See 8 November 2012 press release

Thuesday, November 13th :

04:24 PM : Dissident writer Sheng Liang Qing’s computer has been the target of several cyber-attacks since the publication of his latest work, “Double-standards in the investigation into former Chinese Communist Party prosecutors,” on 10 November. His computer is now unusable.

02:36 PM : Cyber-dissident Hu Jia reports on Twitter that the blogger Cheng Zuo Liang was taken to police headquarters in the eastern city of Ningpo on 9 November for interrogation about his links to the PX case (involving the building of a polluting chemical products plant). Hu said the police reminded Cheng he was banned from talking to Hu during the 18th congress. The police also cited details from phone calls and emails between the two dissidents, confirming that Hu is under close police surveillance.

Friday, November 9th:

04:13 PM: The cyber-dissident and human rights activist Guo Feixiong was arrested as he was about to go to hospital. The police were waiting for him outside his home.

Long a target of the Chinese authorities, Guo was give a five-year jail sentence in 2007 on a charge of illegal commercial activity and was repeatedly tortured while detained.

03:33 PM : Google platforms are now reportedly inaccessible from within China. Internet users say all Google-related sites including Gmail.com are now blocked.

11:32 AM: The cyber-dissident Hu Jia learned this morning that the Sina Weibo account he created yesterday has already been shut down. This is his third Weibo account to be suppressed since 18 September because of the 18th Congress.

11:02 AM:The police summoned the netizen Wang Wusi this morning. He was “invited to have some tea,” as dissidents often say to circumvent censorship, and was reportedly forbidden to go to Beijing.

Thursday, November 8th:

04:24 PM: After the words “18th Congress” (十八大) were censored in search engines, Chinese Internet users quickly found a solution by using similar sounding words. "Shi Ba Da" (18th Congress) became "Si Ba Da". But the authorities quickly detected the ploy and blocked the alternative too.

11:36 AM: Posted on RFA on 07/11/2012: Disappearance of Inner Mongolian activist Hada’s wife and son. The disappearance of his wife, Xinna, and son, Uiles, could be the result of the government’s desire to prevent the news media from receiving information about the conditions in which Hada is being held.

10:47 AM : Message from Hu Jia. The Beijing police have threatened to summon me in order to prevent me from giving a telephone interview with the United States. This interview was about my comment on the human rights situation in China, the US president’s reelection and a comparison of democratic procedure in the United States with the procedure for changing China’s authoritarian rulers. My friends in the country tell me that my case is the latest example of the Chinese government taking measures to force dissidents to leave Beijing. The government’s security measures have already surpassed those taken for the Olympic Games in 2008 and are as drastic as those of 4 June 1989.


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