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December 10, 2003Habeas corpus? Tibetan demonstrators today added their voice to those protesting new and old methods of information control.
The Tibetans are furious that China is inside the summit, lobbying hard to commitments to enforcing freedom of expression - when Tibetans can be punished even for reading the UN declaration on human rights or listening to a radio broadcast in their own language.
"The world has to tell China," Tibetan activist, Nima Changten, told us, "that ifyou want to be a respected member of the international community, you have to live up to international standards."
According to Tibet News, China is in the midst of a new crackdown, "imposing restrictions on the use of internet and jamming Tibetan language foreign radio broadcasts (Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, Voice of Tibet). This new crackdown has created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation among Tibetans wishing to listen to overseas radio broadcasts.
"Electronic mail, news reports and postings from the Voice of America and popular chat rooms, which serve as forums for discussion on current issues, are monitored and filtered out... This summer, a massive internet campaign from inside China started to infect computer systems of Western supporters and Tibetans living in exile."
Changten, meanwhile, highlights the case of the Panchen Lama, arrested in 1995. At six years old, he was then the youngest political prisoner in the world. Since, there has been no news of the whereabouts of him or his family.
Daily Summit wonders how you say habeas corpus in Chinese...