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VOA: Xinhua Journalist Published Open Letter to Condemn China’s Internet Surveillance Department

VOA published an article that reported about a Xinhua journalist who recently published an open letter on his microblog account on Sina criticizing Chinese Internet management agencies because they violated citizens’ basic rights of freedom of speech when they deleted online posts or shut down microblog accounts. The open letter stated, "They have violated the basic rights of freedom of speech and press that the Constitution protects. According to VOA, even though the open letter has been deleted from the Internet sites in China, the news media overseas have already picked it up. The article said that this is the second instance in which the people inside the Chinese media system stood up to express dissatisfaction with the Chinese authorities’ suppression of freedom of speech and of the press. The last open letter was published in Caixin after the Internet surveillance department deleted one of its articles. The open letter also demanded a full investigation of media attacks against Ren Zhiqiang, a Chinese businessman for his concerns about why the media should be loyal to the Party.

According to VOA, the handling of Ren Zhiqiang’s case and the open letter suggest that major differences and a power struggle exist inside the top leadership, especially between the Publicity Department and the Central Discipline Inspection Commission.

Source: VOA, March 11, 2016