Editing history: Hong Kong publishers self-censor under new security law

first_imgThe Hong Kong Trade Development Council, which organizes the annual Hong Kong Book Fair, told exhibitors not to display what it called “unlawful books” at this week’s planned fair, but did not explain further.The council postponed the fair at the last minute on Monday due to a recent spike in cases of the new coronavirus. It did not specify a new date for the event, which draws about 1 million visitors.Three non-governmental pro-Beijing groups had teamed up to urge people to report stalls at the fair selling material promoting Hong Kong independence, a subject that is anathema to the Chinese government.”Every citizen has a duty to report crime,” said Innes Tang, the chairman of PolitiHK Social Strategic, one group behind the campaign. “We are not the police. We are not the ones to say where the red line is.”Dangerous readingJimmy Pang, a veteran local publisher who has participated in every fair since it began in 1990, called 2020 “the most terrifying year” because of the security law and the economic downturn that was already hurting publishers.He said the law has prompted publishing houses and writers to halt projects while printers, distributors, and bookstores have turned down sensitive books.For example, Breakazine, a local Christian publication, said it suspended the distribution of its mid-July issue called “Dangerous Reading” while seeking legal advice for navigating the security law.”Everyone is avoiding risks by suffering in silence,” said Pang, a spokesman for 50 exhibitors at the fair.Last year, a unit of Pang’s Sub-Culture Ltd published Chan Yun-chi’s “6430,” a book of interviews with surviving pro-democracy protesters in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the bloody 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, a subject heavily censored on the mainland.”In the future, there will be no sensitive books related to politics,” he said.Bao Pu, the son of Bao Tong, the most senior Chinese Communist Party official jailed for sympathizing with Tiananmen protesters, founded New Century Press in 2005 in Hong Kong to publish books based on memoirs and government documents and other sources that often differ from the official versions of events in China and could not be published on the mainland.His customers were mostly mainland visitors, a lucrative niche in Hong Kong until China began to tighten border controls a decade ago, making it harder to bring back books to the mainland.Given the drop off in demand, Bao said he no longer plans to publish such books in Hong Kong. But he urged other publishers to avoid self-censorship.”If everybody does that, then the law would have much more impact on freedom of speech,” he said. “This is history. This is the truth,” he said, holding up the book with blue sticky flags on many pages to mark changes made because of the new law.Just as demand for political books was surging in Hong Kong after a year of protests, Hong Kong’s once unbridled and prolific independent publishers are now censoring themselves in the face of the new law.Hong Kong authorities say freedom of speech remains intact, but in the past two weeks public libraries have taken some books off the shelves, shops have removed protest-related decorations and the slogan “Liberate Hong Kong! Revolution of our times” has been declared illegal.”To Freedom” is the first political book Yeung has taken on as a part-time publisher. After Beijing introduced the security law, the book’s original printer bailed, and two other printers declined, he said. Another printer agreed to take it anonymously, but wants to get a better sense of how the law is implemented first. Topics :center_img In the last two weeks, Hong Kong publisher Raymond Yeung has hastily made changes to a draft paper copy of a book entitled “To Freedom,” replacing the word “revolution” with “protests,” tweaking a banned slogan and cutting passages that advocate independence for the Chinese-ruled city.The changes were hard to make, he told Reuters, but impossible to avoid since China passed a national security law on June 30, making the broadly defined crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces punishable by up to life in prison.”This is really painful,” Yeung said as he flipped through pages of the collection of essays by 50 protesters, lawyers, social workers and other participants in the pro-democracy demonstrations that shook Hong Kong last year.last_img read more

Viral videos show Indonesian crew pleading for help aboard Chinese fishing vessel

first_imgThe sailors said they had worked on the ship for ten months and had yet to receive any payment“Our contract ends in November 2021, but we can’t wait that long. We could die here,” one of the men said.“Please help us, Pak,” they said multiple times.The video, first posted by Instagram account @infogeh, has been shared numerous times and has garnered hundreds of comments, mostly condemning the apparent abuse and similar incidents aboard other Chinese fishing vessels. The Foreign Ministry said it had received a report and was looking into the matter.Read also: Indonesia reiterates concern about alleged mistreatment of crewmen on Chinese vessels“[We] have coordinated with the Transportation Ministry and the Manpower Ministry, which issues permits for Indonesians to work as crew members on ships abroad,” Foreign Ministry director for the protection of citizens and legal entities overseas Judha Nugraha said in a statement on Wednesday.Judha said the ministry had not received any response from PT Raja Crew Atlantik (RCA), the recruiting agency mentioned in the caption of the viral video.According to data from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Liao Yuan Yu 103, the fishing vessel mentioned in the post, is owned by Liaoning Kimliner Ocean Fishing Co. Ltd. in Dalian city, China.Judha said the ministry had coordinated with the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing to seek confirmation from the fishing vessel’s owner and Chinese authorities.“We will keep trying to call the first party that uploaded the video on social media to get more detailed information,” he said.This incident is the latest in a string of alleged abuse aboard Chinese fishing vessels. In July, an Indonesian crew member was found dead in the freezer of vessel Lu Huang Yuan Yu 117. In May, a video appeared on Facebook showing a group of sailors on Lu Qing Yuan Yu 623 throwing the body of an Indonesian sailor into the sea. Prior to that, there was public outrage at the death of four Indonesian sailors registered to another Chinese fishing ship.According to Destructive Fishing Watch (DFW) data, at least 30 Indonesian crew members were victims of exploitation aboard Chinese fishing vessels between November 2019 to June 2020, seven of whom have died and three of whom are missing. Videos apparently showing four Indonesian crew members begging to be rescued from abuse aboard a Chinese fishing vessel have gone viral on social media, the latest in a series of alleged abuses aboard such vessels. “Please get us off this ship immediately. We are being physically abused here. We were kicked, beaten, and they even threatened to stab us,” one crew member said in the video. Another said that the crew was being punched and kicked every day.“We are only given four to five hours to rest, and we work for more than 20 hours every day. If we don’t work, they will not give us any food. We are starving,” the man said. center_img Topics :last_img read more

Ticketing process changes again

first_imgStudents will have to wake up early this year if they want to attend the Wisconsin football games.[/media-credit]The University of Wisconsin Athletic Department will once again be changing its ticket policy for the upcoming 2009-10 football season.According to a news release from the Athletic Department Monday night, the new policy will be based on two different sales times, both on a first-come, first-served basis. The first sales period will take place on June 22 at 8:30 a.m. and will be available exclusively to undergraduates, including incoming freshmen.The next wave of sales will take place on July 6 and will be available exclusively for graduate and professional students. This group also includes incoming graduate students. The Athletic Department has allotted 1,700 tickets for this group based on previous records of how many students from this category have traditionally purchased student football tickets.If there are any remaining tickets from the allotted number given to graduate students after 4:30 p.m. on July 10, both undergraduate and graduate students will be able to purchase these tickets starting July 13 at 8:30 a.m.According to the release, the Athletic Department changed the policy based on feedback from students through personal communication with students on campus, an online survey given to student ticketholders throughout the 2008 season and a postseason focus group.Members of the Associated Students of Madison Shared Governance Committee were involved in the focus groups trying to get a better perspective on students’ views.Logan Hulick, a Shared Governance Committee member who also works with the Athletic Department, said between 60 and 100 people were asked to participate in the focus groups. The people who received these emails were members of ASM, student media and concerned students. Of this group, about 25 people attended.“It was everywhere from seniors to freshmen,” Hulick said. “I don’t know how even it was, but it was definitely from both, and graduate students were there.”According to both Hulick and Jake McGee, also a member of the Shared Governance Committee, the consensus of the group was to eliminate the lottery system and change it to a first-come, first-served basis regardless of class standing.“The freshmen are equally excited, and they are students too,” McGee said. “It’s hard to throw out judgments saying the freshmen might be later, and the seniors might be earlier.”While the purchasing process for student tickets may have changed, the distribution system has not. Those who receive tickets will still get vouchers for their seats as they have in years past and will be able to redeem them at the stadium gates on game day.The Badgers will hold seven home games this coming year, including a night-game opener against Northern Illinois on Sept. 5.Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations Vince Sweeney could not be reached for comment as of press time.last_img read more