Saturday, June 16, 2007

And while we're at it.....

Thumbing our nose at the Chinese authorities, that is.....

I learned from Asia Media this week that jailed Chinese journalist*, Shi Tiao (this link to his bio on the CPJ website includes links to some of his articles), has been joined as a party to the lawsuit brought against Yahoo in the US by the World Organization for Human Rights USA (blocked in China - what a surprise!). Is Yahoo still dumbly hiding between its "no choice but to comply with local laws" excuse? I expect so. Is it doing anything to lobby for Shi Tiao's release? Probably not. I have no idea what the cause of action in this case if, or whether Yahoo might actually lose - but either way, they're going to be in PR purgatory for a long time yet. Though not as long as Shi is likely to remain in prison.

Now, this is third-, fourth-, eighty-eighth-hand news that can easily be ready by anyone on Asia Media and numerous other news sources, and has, I expect, even been reported within China (well, I bet the South China Morning Post gave it a mention, at the very least), but.... mentioning it on the Internet is the kind of thing that can get you into trouble here. Particularly if I were a Chinese national. Even as a foreigner here, I do suffer an occasional nervousness about the possible consequences of writing about issues like this.

But hey, Blogspot is already blocked!!! So, what're you going to do to me, Net Nanny? Send me to bed early without my milk??

* China regularly boasts more jailed journalists than any other country in the world. Now there's an unenviable record: check out the Committee to Protect Journalists 2006 report on this, the overview here, and details of individual cases here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Froog, the worse thing about such matters is the psychological damage done to the people who suffer such restictions for years, or just know of them in the place they live, even if they don't have anything to say at the time.

I have not lived in such places for two decades, but I am still worried and don't feel free to write my opinions about things -anything- or freely express myself in multimedia. It has damaged me for good.
I still fear the possible consequences of speaking my mind. I have many things to say, write or even shout out about many things in a free society with freedom of speach in all it's glory, but still dare not do so. I am not convinced that nothing bad will happen to me, if I let my opinion be known.

The one from earth.