Freedom of Speech

Vietnam arrests bloggers in attempt to rein in criticism of Communist Party

Pham Viet Dao. Photo: Reuters

Vietnamese police have arrested one of the country's best known bloggers for posting criticism of the communist government, intensifying a crackdown against internet-fuelled dissent in the authoritarian one-party state.

Saturday, 15 June, 2013, 1:51am

City Digest, March 4, 2013

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah yesterday defended the budget plan he announced last week, branding some of the criticisms as "dangerous". Tsang said those who opposed short-term relief measures were not taking into account macro-economic considerations.

4 Mar 2013 - 5:08am

China petition urges human rights reforms

Scholars, lawyers and journalists have signed a petition urging the National People’s Congress to ratify the ICCPR. Photo: Reuters

More than 120 influential scholars, lawyers and journalists have signed a petition urging the National People’s Congress to ratify an international human rights treaty as part of the leadership’s pledge to promote constitutional rights and the rule of law.

28 Feb 2013 - 12:41am

Leung is stupid, but so are his critics

Leung is stupid, but so are his critics

In sending a threatening lawyer's letter to a newspaper, Leung Chun-ying did something stupid and counterproductive. All that has done is enable his critics and enemies to portray him as undermining the freedom of speech and of the press.

But we should also ask: are they any less opportunistic, reprehensible or even unethical?

13 Feb 2013 - 3:37am 10 comments

Rebut, yet don't chill free speech

Leung Chun-ying. Photo: AFP

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has demanded through his lawyers that a newspaper retract an article which he says defamed him. This has prompted demands that, instead, Leung should withdraw the lawyer's letter. Leung has said that while he has always respected freedom of speech and of the press, the article contained allegations of relations with triads that had to be taken seriously.

9 Feb 2013 - 2:57am 16 comments

Xi Jinping's 'bring on the criticism' brings little more than scepticism

Xi Jinping visited poor farmers in Gansu in early February. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Xi Jinping says he wants honest feedback, here's why people don't believe him.

8 Feb 2013 - 9:35am 2 comments

Vietnam jails 22 activists for subversion

Phan Van Thu (centre) and his group members standing trial at a local People's Court in the southern central province of Phu Yen. Photo: AFP

Vietnam sentenced 22 activists to lengthy jail terms ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment on Monday, in one of the country’s largest subversion trials for years.

4 Feb 2013 - 2:36pm

Christians in prayer rally to fight gay law proposal

Protesters at the government headquarters, where organisers said 50,000 gathered. Police put the figure at 5,000. Photo: Edward Wong

Thousands of Christians staged a rally outside government headquarters yesterday to show their opposition to proposed legislation that would outlaw discrimination against sexual minorities.

14 Jan 2013 - 7:26am 39 comments

Jackie Chan plays to the wrong crowd

Jackie Chan. Photo: Xinhua

Anything said by that comedian Jackie Chan should be taken with a pinch of salt, but his remarks, about restricting rights in his home town and toting hand grenades to deter his badass triad buddies, are worthy of some reflection.

22 Dec 2012 - 1:57am 11 comments

With free speech comes responsibility

Sydney-based 2DayFM radio presenters Michael Christian (left) and Mel Greig speak during an interview. Photo: Reuters

April Fools' day jokes aside, on-air pranks set Australian radio broadcasting apart from Hong Kong's. In cut-throat ratings wars, commercial stations try to be provocative and controversial to attract more listeners. Prank phone calls are common, often to vulnerable front-desk targets like receptionists and nurses in attempts to reach celebrities.

12 Dec 2012 - 2:09am

India suspends policemen over Facebook arrests

Shaheen Dhada (left) and Renu Srinivas, Indian women arrested for their Facebook posts, come out of a court in Mumbai on November 20. Photo: AP

India suspended two senior police officers and transferred a judge on Tuesday over the arrests of two women for Facebook posts in a case that sparked outrage and fierce debate over India’s internet laws.

The women, both 21, were arrested a week ago over comments on the social networking site questioning the shutdown of Mumbai for the funeral of the hardline politician Bal Thackeray.

27 Nov 2012 - 9:23pm

China court gives dissident Li Bifeng 12-year sentence

A Chinese court on Monday sentenced a prominent dissident who was involved in the 1989 Tiananmen pro-democracy demonstrations to 12 years in prison for contract fraud, a lawyer said.

A court in the central province of Sichuan handed down the sentence on Li Bifeng, his lawyer Ma Xiaopeng told reporters.

19 Nov 2012 - 4:23pm

Background on Cao Haibo, the 27-year-old sentenced to 8 years in prison for discussing politics online

Seeing Red in China shares more details regarding the young dissident from Kunming.

2 Nov 2012 - 9:07am

Vietnam jails songwriters for ‘anti-state propaganda’

A Vietnamese court jailed two renowned musicians for up to six years for anti-state propaganda, one of their lawyers said on Tuesday, a decision rights groups branded an “outrageous” muzzling of free speech.

30 Oct 2012 - 5:10pm

Letters to the Editor, September 29, 2012

Outside court where the three bloggers were tried. Photo: AFP

Performance rating plea for all hospitals

I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal on ways to improve better public monitoring and rating of hospitals in the United States.

28 Sep 2012 - 11:44pm