Monday, July 03, 2006

Put Pressure on Chinese Government; email the Wall Street Journal

courtesy Global Voices Online.
The Wall Street Journal wrote a long article, starting on the frontpage, on arrested blogger and editor for Global Voices Online, Hao Wu.
16 bloggers, and 18 journalists (Committee to Protect Journalists) are in detention for supposedly crossing a line in reporting what they see. There is a strange parallel universe in China; on the one hand, artists are allowed to make fun of Mao Zedong; express, artistically, commentary on Tiananmen Square; they have their own version of MTV. However, the Chinese government has been aggressively pursuing news media in any shape or version; newspapers have fallen under more control or have been closed; as for blogs that became known for writing about corruption and other, government 'sensitive' issues. (Think 'saving face')

So write a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal, asking the Chinese government to release Hao Wu, and the other detained journalists. Embassies read the WSJ and often respond to articles written about their country.
Click here to write a letter to the editor via email
And while you are at it, why don't you 'CC' the Chinese Embassy as well. Mention to them the article written in July 3rd's Wall Steet Journal. (front page)
Read Ethan Zuckerman's blog on Hao WU!

There are many bloggers in other countries who need a voice, and it might seem overwhelming. However, since a very visible American newspaper (regardless of their super pro-market stance) is bringing it to the foreground, even mentioning Global Voices Online in the process (good for you guys), I think we should bombard them with short, sweet and to the point (and polite people!) emails. For sure that will not go unnoticed and might just be the little bit of extra push the Chinese government needs to release the journalists and bloggers.

Update: I emailed and cc'd this letter to the editor
Madam/Sirs,

I thank you for highlighting Hao Wu's situation. There is nothing left for me to say, as you wrote a clear article on the paralel universe that exists in China. Certain freedoms on the one hand, (open markets, some freedom of expressions) and strict intolerance on the other. As one cannot force another country to adopt freedoms or rights by merely writing, I do believe that the WSJ's article could encourage the Chinese government to release mr.Wu and the other detained journalists. If the Chinese government does not believe in open discussion of certain subjects, it should come out of the 'Gray Zone', and into the clear white where boundaries are easily set and seen.
I posted a reference to the WSJ on my blog (though no online subscriber, we are subscribed to the print edtion), and encouraged my readers to write to this newspaper in support and thanks for making mr. Wu's situation more public.
Thank you,


Postscript

I just received a returned email from the Chinese embassy. It apparently was 'over quota'. Still, I would cc them anyway. Perhaps when their email box is cleared, they are ready to receive some more!
---
I want to thank Zeb from Inside Zebster for helping me with my site. I now finally am able to 'show' the Amnesty International button, as well the Bloggers against torture one. I had joined them very early on, but never could make that button appear on the page. Thanks Zeb!

7 Comments:

Blogger Zebster said...

You're very welcome, Ingrid. And I promise to join you in writing to WSJ...just need to read some of your linked articles to get my act together first. Great job. You go, girl!

7:20 PM  
Blogger Zebster said...

As you requested, Ingrid, I wrote the letter to WSJ and cc'd the Chinese Embassy (mailbox still "full")
I also wrote a companion blog and requested that others join in.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Zeb, that's great. Hopefully we'll get some response. Since we get the WSJ, I'll look out for any letter to the editors..but, won't hold my breath. It's apparently difficult to get accepted.
crossing my fingers,
Ingrid
ps, thx for the companion blog, I'll check it out!

9:07 PM  
Blogger Lindsay Lobe said...

It interesting to reflect back on recent history during the period of the 'Cultural Revolution' when all cultural activity was banned as Mao knew culture is what makes us human and his attachment to power by dehumanisation remained with him all of his life. He also was a great strategist in terms of enlisting intellectual support abroad, and diverted a massive 7 % of gross national product to those splinter groups of inteligencia who became supporters of his purpose. Consider that to day where foreign aid is much less than 1% of GDP for even the wealthiest of countries.

Since Mao's death the outlook has improved immeasurably in China but the remnants remain. His photograph remains in Tienneman Square. China is still not free, and the history of Mao needs to be acknowledged as it was, so healing can occur and help mend the deep scars that remain. China needs to finally make that clean break with this legacy of Mao as a uniting father and break with it’s terrible past.

It is vitally important to speak out against human rights abuses to day that still occur in China. A legacy that is left over from the terrible time of terror of Mau’s “Ecstasy in Violence “.
God articles here Ingrid, I will put a link on my blog to yours soon.
Best wishes

8:31 AM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Lindsay, so many attitudes and perceptions are totally foreign to me when it comes to the Chinese one. I think someone who understands the culture really well could think of how to bring about the changes in the supposed, 'sensitive' areas. There is, as you noted, still a strong undercurrent of party control and I am sure that with anything, if changes happen too fast, the reaction is to tighten control in order to 'not lose control'. You follow me? Anyway, thx for your kind words and compliment. As for the linking to other people's blogs etc, I am still a novice and haven't ventured into that territory (yet). In fact, Zebster explained as to the 'mechanics' of it so one of these days I'll step out of my wee little comfort zone.
btw..any more poems coming up?
cheers!
Ingrid

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think China is too obsessed with presenting a perfect image and should have taken the girls feelings into account. China shouldn't have to lie, they should accept that everyone is different and maybe if the original girl sang in the opening ceremony it might have looked more genuine.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

my preference would've been the same. But that's what happens when towards an outside world, everything has to be shown as hunky dory. It is still and always will be, a state controlled economy. Freedoms are not too deep even though they're experiencing the trappings of the look of a democracy with all that the current good economy and materialism brings..

Ingrid

7:38 PM  

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