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Veteran Chinese Journalist Calls for Direct Elections and Freedom of Assembly

Radio Free Asia reports that Chinese veteran journalist, writer, and scholar Lin Changzhou published an open letter to top Chinese leaders through Radio Free Asia during the “Two Conferences (National People’s Congress and Political Consultative Conferences),” calling for direct elections and freedom of assembly, as well as pursuing a renaissance of national fundamental values. The 41-year-old Lin was the former deputy editor of the newspaper BEIJING DAILY MESSENGER.

Source: Radio Free Asia, March 10, 2008
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/shenrubaodao/2008/03/10/ling/

Olympics: Beijing Arrests Falun Gong Practitioners Ahead of Games

On March 5, 2008, Falun Gong’s official website Minghui published a list of over 50 Falun Gong practitioners in Beijing who were arrested since December 2007. According to the report, the police began monitoring and following them as early as August 2007 in an attempt to limit efforts to expose the persecution of Falun Gong in the run-up to the Olympics.

Source: Minghui, March 5, 2008
http://minghui.ca/mh/articles/2008/3/5/173643.html

Foreign Journalist Detained. China’s Pledge For Free Reporting Questioned.

In the afternoon of February 27, Mark Maginier, the Beijing bureau chief with the Los Angeles Times, and his translator were taken away by the personnel from the public security bureau. At the time, Mark was speaking with the petitioners living in the Shou Bao village of Da Xing district of Beijing, a newly established petitioners’ village. Mark told Radio Free Asia that he was taken away for over an hour and was questioned who he was speaking with and what kind of report he will write about.

Mark’s arrest raised concerns over Beijing’s promise. On December 1, 2006, China promised that the foreign reporters, whether assigned permanently or visiting for the Olympics, will be allowed to travel most of the country freely and report without interference by local police or propaganda officials from Jan. 1, 2007, until Oct. 17, 2008.

Source: Radio Free Asia, February 27, 2008
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/shenrubaodao/2008/02/27/press/

Parents Want to Learn How to Offer Good Moral Guidance

A survey published by the All-China Women’s Federation reported that 49 percent of the 6,500 parents in the survey were keen to know how to offer good moral guidance to their children. Sixty percent said they wanted to learn how to help their children with psychological health issues. The study polled more than 5,000 school students aged 6 to 17, and about 6,500 parents from 28 cities and counties in 10 provinces and regions.

Most of the children surveyed said they would like to ask their parents questions about sex, but a majority of moms and dads said they were too embarrassed to answer.

Source: China Daily, February 28, 2008
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/language_tips/cdaudio/2008-02/28/content_6493070.htm

Tiananmen Mothers Call for Open Dialogue

The Tiananmen Mothers, a group led by Ding Zilin, a retired professor whose teenage son was killed in the crackdown, called for the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to open a dialogue and to investigate the killings. The letter was released through Human Rights in China – a New York-based NGO.

For 19 years, the subject remains taboo and the Chinese government has repeatedly rejected Tiananmen Mothers’ calls to overturn its verdict.

Source: Human Rights in China, February 27, 2008
http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/press?revision%5fid=47451&item%5fid=47439

Shanghai Rights Lawyer Under Constant Harassments

At 8 am on February 22, Zheng Enchong, Shanghai Rights Lawyer, was taken away by the security bureau in Zabei district of Shanghai. Zheng was still recovering from the injuries to his legs caused by the beating by the local police from two days ago. He has been taken away by the local authority 22nd times since August 24, 2007. Jiang Meili, Zhen’s wife calls for support to ensure the safety of Zhen and his family members. Numbers of human rights organizations and individuals including Hongkong based China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group have expressed their concerns on the harassment.

Zheng Enchong provided legal advice for fair compensation to the families who have lost homes due to Shanghai’s urban redevelopment projects.

Source: The Epoch Times, February 22, 2008
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/8/2/22/n2019556.htm