Two Movies China Desperately Wants to Hide
Jeff Jacoby, BOSTON GLOBE
This week, two extraordinary Canadian films—one a chilling documentary, the other a riveting drama based on its findings—were released for sale on iTunes. Directed by Leon Lee, the films illuminate what may be the most depraved of all systematic human-rights atrocities in the world today: China’s industrial-scale harvesting of vital organs from prisoners of conscience, to be transplanted into patients paying exorbitant fees for a heart, kidney, or liver made available on demand.
Three Chinese Rights Activists Vanish, Apparently in State Crackdown
Michael Forsythe, THE NEW YORK TIMES
Three prominent Chinese rights activists appear to have been detained in recent weeks by the police, part of a continuing crackdown on groups operating outside the umbrella of the state, advocacy groups say. The men, Jiang Tianyong, Huang Qi and Liu Feiyue, disappeared within days of each other in November, each in a different province.
Jia Jinglong Died on November 15th
Jia Jinglong, a Chinese protester against forced expropriation, has been executed at the age of 30. He rose to fame in China for protesting the forced demolition of his home. After writing numerous appeals asking to be compensated for his demolished home, Jinglong took action into his own hands by murdering the local party chief with a nail gun. He was sentenced to death but many protesters and two major party newspapers came out in support of Jinglong before his execution.
Fired “Like A Dog” For Satirizing Fidel Castro
Mario Penton, TRANSLATING CUBA
Leamsy Requejo Lorite, who worked as a curator at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana, was expelled from his workplace on Tuesday after publishing on Facebook an ironic text about the death of Fidel Castro, accusing the dictator of owing him thousands of pesos that he was never paid for his work. The reason offered by the administration for his firing was the negative comment against “an idol of the Cuban Revolution.”
Police Free 14ymedio Journalist Reinaldo Escobar
HUMAN RIGHTS IN CUBA
The journalist Reinaldo Escobar, editor in chief of 14ymedio, was detained for more than four hours on Thursday, in the midst of the control measures that the Government deployed after the death of Fidel Castro. The reporter gave an interview to Spanish Television (TVE) about the future of Cuba on the Malecón in Havana where he was intercepted by police and taken to the Zapata and C police station in Vedado, according to witnesses who confirmed the arrest.
Eighty Percent of North Korean Defectors Believe Diplomats’ Defections Will Hurt Regime
THE KOREA TIMES
Nearly eight out of 10 North Korean escapees believe that defections by the North’s officials from its overseas missions will likely hasten the collapse of the regime, a survey showed Monday. Among 314 respondents, 78.5 percent said that defections by North Korean diplomats and other officials working abroad are expected to deal a blow to North Korea, according to the poll on 400 defectors by North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity.
Q&A: Russia, China Swapping Cybersecurity, Censorship Tips
RADIO FREE EUROPE
A series of joint events by Russia and China on cybersecurity has prompted speculation that Moscow is looking to the architect of the Great Firewall of China for inspiration on how to censor and otherwise regulate the Internet. But it’s a two-way street, and Beijing is learning from Moscow, too, says Andrei Soldatov, co-author of the book Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia’s Digital Dictators and New Online Revolutionaries.
China Blasts “Petty” Taiwan Phone Call with Trump
Emily Rauhala, THE WASHINGTON POST
The president-elect broke with four decades of diplomatic practice by talking on the phone Friday with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, a breach of protocol that could disrupt U.S.-China ties before the inauguration. The 10-minute phone call is believed to be the first time that a U.S. president or president-elect and a Taiwanese leader have spoken since the late 1970s. A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday that Beijing had lodged an official complaint with the United States. Asked about the incident, Foreign Minister Wang Yi described the call as “petty.”
Venezuela to Issue New Bolivar Banknotes After Dramatic Fall in Value
Venezuela will introduce six new notes and three new coins from mid-December to help alleviate practical problems in doing business with the world’s most inflationary currency, according to the central bank. The bolivar currency has suffered its most dramatic monthly fall in history, down 60% since early November against the dollar on the black market, as the country struggles with a major economic crisis that is leaving millions hungry and the medical sector in crisis.