Two cyber-dissidents placed under surveillance
(Sept. 01, 2005)
Two cyber-dissidents placed under surveillance during visit by UN high commissioner for human rights
SOURCE: Reporters sans frontières (RSF), Paris
(RSF/IFEX) - RSF said it was "sickened by the hypocrisy of the Chineseauthorities" in placing Liu Di, a young Internet user who was imprisoned fora year in 2002-2003, and Liu Xiaobo, a leading figure in the Chinesepro-democracy movement, under surveillance on 29 August 2005 while receivinga visit from Louise Arbour, the United Nations high commissioner for humanrights. (boxun.com)
"This incident shows how Beijing views dialogue with the United Nations - asa masquerade in which they try to put on a show of conforming to standardswhile refusing to make the least real commitment on human rights," theorganisation said.
"For fear of upsetting their hosts' susceptibilities, many foreign officialsvisiting China limit themselves to formulaic statements that are toorestrained to be effective. We hope the high commissioner will adopt a firmstance on China, which is the world's biggest prison for journalist andcyber-dissidents," RSF added.
On 29 August, the police told Liu Di not to leave her home until furthernotice and three policemen were later posted outside her home. "Many peopleare being forced to stay at home during Louise Arbour's visit, in violationof their civil rights," she said. "Isn't it paradoxical that a human rightscommission's visit causes more human rights violations?"
Liu Di was arrested in November 2002 because of essays and articles postedon online discussion forums under the pseudonym "Stainless Steel Mouse". Shewas secretly held for more than a year without trial.
In addition, at least five policemen were posted outside Liu Xiaobo's homeon 29 August and, although allowed to leave his home, he was followedeverywhere. When he asked the police if they had an official documentauthorising this surveillance, they refused to reply. The surveillance was"completely illegal," he said.
An impassioned human rights advocate, Liu Xiaobo was placed under housearrest during the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre last June. Aformer Beijing University professor and president of the Independent ChinesePEN Centre (ICPC), he received the RSF prize for the defence of freeexpression in December 2004.
For further information, contact Julien Pain, RSF Internet Desk, 5, rueGeoffroy Marie, Paris 75009, France, tel: +33 1 44 83 84 71, fax: +33 1 4523 11 51, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Internet: http://www.internet.rsf.org
The information contained in this alert is the sole responsibility of RSF.In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit RSF.
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