China's Internet Censorship Impacts on Academic Rights
Following the closure of one of Beijing University’s online discussion forum and several other measures taken by the Chinese authorities to crackdown on independent websites and publications, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has urged European Union (EU) member states and the European Commission to condemn these measures in their continuing dialogue on human rights with Chinese officials.
EU delegates met with authorities in Beijing on 24 September 2004.
"Beijing appears to be openly contemptuous of this so-called 'constructive dialogue', continuing to shut down outlets for free expression and arresting hundreds of people, even while European representatives are in the Chinese capital," said the organisation.
On 13 September 2004, one of the country's most popular discussion forums, Yi Ta Hu Tu, was closed. The online forum was set up by a Beijing university student in September 1999 and had nearly 300,000 regular users. The forum featured discussions of sensitive issues such as corruption, human rights and Taiwanese independence. It operated through a democratic structure which asked users to vote on subjects for discussion without interference by moderators, making it difficult for the authorities to control. A newspaper reported that its users were mostly students, researchers and professors at universities and research institutions.
On 23 September 2004, authorities blocked access to the Chinese version of the Wikipedia online encyclopaedia that relies on contributions from Internet-users and carries a number of articles on human rights abuses in China. The site has been blocked on several previous occasions.
RSF called on the Chinese authorities to reopen the Yi Ta Hu Tu discussion forum, the Wikipedia site and the thousands of other sites inaccessible to Chinese Internet-users.
Alert - China
|Date:||28 September 2004|
|Classification:||NEAR Member Alert|
NEAR is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.