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Perspectivas / Perspectives

Open letter in China calls for free speech

By Li Rui, Hu Jiwei and others
15 October 2010

Dear members of the standing committee of the National People's Congress:

Article 35 of China's constitution as adopted in 1982 clearly states that: "Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration." For 28 years this article has stood unrealised, having been negated by detailed rules and regulations for "implementation". This false democracy of formal avowal and concrete denial has become a scandalous mark on the history of world democracy.

On 26 February 2003, at a meeting of democratic consultation between the standing committee of the political bureau of the central committee of the Chinese Communist party and democratic parties, not long after President Hu Jintao assumed office, he stated clearly: "The removal of restrictions on the press, and the opening up of public opinion positions, is a mainstream view and demand held by society; it is natural, and should be resolved through the legislative process. If the Communist party does not reform itself, if it does not transform, it will lose its vitality and move toward natural and inevitable extinction."

On 3 October, America's Cable News Network (CNN) aired an interview with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao by anchor Fareed Zakaria. Responding to the journalist's questions, Wen said: "Freedom of speech is indispensable for any nation; China's constitution endows the people with freedom of speech; the demands of the people for democracy cannot be resisted."

In accord with China's constitution, and in the spirit of the remarks made by Hu and Wen, we hereupon represent the following concerning the materialisation of the constitutional rights to freedom of speech and of the press.

Concerning the current state of freedom of speech and press in our country

We have for 61 years "served as master" in the name of the citizens of the People's Republic of China. But the freedom of speech and of the press we now enjoy is inferior even to that of Hong Kong before its return to Chinese sovereignty, to that entrusted to the residents of a colony.

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S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine

[ Comentario en español ]
[ Más datos en español ]

This is a 2003 documentary film (French: S-21, la machine de mort Khmère rouge) directed by Rithy Panh. Rithy, himself a survivor of the Khmer Rouge, brought together two former prisoners of the regime with their former captors at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the former Security Prison 21 (S-21) under the Khmer Rouge.

 

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Civil Society Organizations Urge Venezuelan Government to Protect Human Rights Defenders

Civicus World Assembly LogoCivicus World Assembly LogoAug. 2.─ On July 29, CIVICUS and Article XIX with several other civil society organizations issued a statement expressing alarm about systematic restrictions on civil society freedoms of expression, association, and assembly in Venezuela.  The statement cites the Venezuelan government's is increasing restrictions on civil society, including limiting freedom of expression and persecuting human rights defenders.

On July 14, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for an investigation of human rights organizations that allegedly worked with the United States government and received funds to "destabilize the Venezuelan government."  The signers of the statement believe this "in depth investigation" is an attempt to place restrictions on freedom of expression.  The Venezuelan government uses various harassment tactics, such as public threats and judicial proceedings, to silence the opposition and to restrict human rights defenders and journalists.  For example, Oswaldo Alvarez Paz, a member of the opposition political party, was arrested earlier this year for commenting on Venezuela's involvement in the drug trade and was charged with "conspiracy against the government."

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Ahora los pueblos – De la crisis a la justicia global

Bajo el lema de "Ahora los pueblos - De la crisis a la justicia global", celebrará la Confederación Sindical Internacional (CSI) su Segundo Congreso Mundial en la ciudad de Vancouver, Canadá del 21 al 25 de de Junio del 2010. La voz del movimiento independiente de los trabajadores cubanos estará presente en este Congreso, al que han sido invitados el Consejo Unitario de Trabajadores Cubanos (CUTC) y la Solidaridad de Trabajadores Cubanos (STC), por ser Miembros Asociados fundadores de la CSI.

La Confederación Sindical Internacional (CSI) es una confederación de centrales sindicales nacionales, cada una de las cuales agrupa a los sindicatos en su país. Fue fundada el 1 de noviembre de 2006, reuniendo a las organizaciones que antes eran afiliadas de la CIOSL y la CMT (ambas disueltas) así como a numerosas centrales sindicales nacionales que no tenían ninguna afiliación internacional en ese momento.

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Vaticano pide al mundo recordar a los cristianos en Oriente Medio

El Vaticano estima que hay 17 millones de cristianos en la región

Sheik Nazim saluda a Benedicto XVISheik Nazim saluda a Benedicto XVI

El místico sufí Sheikh Nazim saluda al Papa Benedicto XVI (Foto)

Nicosia, Chipre (AP).─ El Vaticano dijo el domingo que la comunidad internacional se ha olvidado de la causa de los cristianos en Medio Oriente, donde miles se han visto obligados a abandonar la región por el conflicto entre Israel y los palestinos, la guerra en Irak y la inestabilidad política en Líbano.

Un borrador emitido durante la peregrinación del papa Benedicto XVI a Chipre, en anticipación a una cumbre de emergencia entre los obispos de Medio Oriente en octubre en Roma, también cita como una amenaza a los cristianos en la zona a la "corriente extremista" desatada por el avance del "islam político".

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