Archive for the ‘International News’ Category

China detains scholar, bans books in crackdown on moderate voices

Monday, October 13th, 2014

(Reuters) – China has detained a prominent scholar who helped blind dissident Chen Guangcheng flee to the United States two years ago and has banned books by eight writers in an escalating crackdown on dissent.

Guo Yushan, a founder of the Transition Institute, a think-tank that researches business regulations, reform and civil society, was detained on Thursday, his wife, Pan Haixia, said.

More than 10 police officers took him away along with his laptop, wireless router, mobile phone and iPad, she said.

Guo was instrumental in helping Chen escape house arrest in his village in 2012. Chen traveled to Beijing where he sought refuge at the U.S. embassy, sparking a diplomatic row between China and the United States. Authorities shut down Guo’s institute last year.

In a telephone interview, Pan said Guo’s detention could be related to the detention of Shi Lin.

Activists describe Shi as an art editor at Peking University and say she was detained after she tried to put up posters on campus expressing support for pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong. In a picture on her Twitter account, she can be seen wearing a face mask with a yellow ribbon on it. The ribbon is a symbol of the protests.

Guo was detained on a charge of “causing a disturbance”, according to Pan and his lawyer, Li Jin. Police did not give Pan a reason for Guo’s detention. Li said she had applied to meet him but had not heard whether she could.

“We just want to know the truth,” Pan said. “We hope the police will investigate this thoroughly and release him quickly.”

Police could not be reached for comment.

If charged and convicted, Guo could face up to five years in prison.

Read more: China detains scholar, bans books in crackdown on moderate voices

China bans books in crackdown on moderate voices

Chinese activist Guo Yushan detained on criminal charge


Yale-Singapore college criticism reignited by ban of film “To Singapore, with Love”

Monday, October 13th, 2014

By  Ed Stannard, New Haven Register    

NEW HAVEN >> The controversy over Yale University’s joint college with the National University of Singapore, in which critics charge that Yale should not be in cooperation with the city-state’s authoritarian regime, was recently reignited over a documentary banned by the government.

Yale-NUS had planned to show “To Singapore, with Love,” which features a number of Singaporean exiles, after notifying the Media Development Authority, which had rated the film “Not Allowed for All,” keeping it from public view but allowing its screening on university campuses.

To Yale University faculty, who had voiced their disapproval of the Yale-NUS venture after it was approved by the Yale Corporation, this was another sign that Yale should have stayed out of Singapore in the first place


Read more: Yale-Singapore college criticism reignited by ban of film

“To Singapore, with Love” Trailer

National Library Board (NLB) Bans Books (Singapore)

Friday, July 11th, 2014

The National Library Board (NLB) has banned/removed 3 books after complaints from a member of the public that the books did not promote family values.

 ”And Tango Makes Three”
“The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption”
“Who’s In My Family: All About Our Families”

 ”NLB’s collection development policy takes special care of our children’s collections to ensure they are age-appropriate. We take a cautious approach, particularly in books and materials for children. NLB’s understanding of family is consistent with that of the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Education,” the statement read.

The removal of the two books has sparked strong responses on social media, including blogposts, Facebook notes and two online petitions.

An open letter written by Ng Yi-sheng, Lim Jialiang, and Liyan Chen called for the NLB to reinstate the two titles and “to exercise prudence in response to complaints in the future”. The letter questioned why the books were removed “without any process for disputation”.

The letter called the removal of the books “irresponsible and unfair to other library users and parents”. It also criticised the NLB for “withdrawing titles from the shelves hastily simply because it offends the sensibilities of some people”.

The Straits Times has learnt that there were at least three more children’s books that were also recently banned.
Written by American author Robie H. Harris, they have to do with sex education and are meant for children aged four and above.

Read more here:

NLB pulls two children’s books that ‘don’t promote family values’

NLB: Withdrawn books will be destroyed

National Library Board bans more children’s books: Straits Times

Canadian Court Believes It Has The Right To Censor The Global Internet; Not At All Concerned With Consequences

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Mike Masnick | June 17, 2014

In the wake of the awful European “right to be forgotten” ruling, it appears that a Canadian court is looking to get in on the over-aggressive censorship of the internet game. As highlighted by Michael Geist, the court in British Columbia has basically ruled that it can order Google to delete links to an entire website worldwide. The ruling in the Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack case is quite troubling on a variety of different levels, all of which should be called out for the problems and consequences (intended or otherwise) they are likely to create. First, in many ways, this ruling goes beyond the European right to be forgotten ruling, which at least limited the ruling to Europe. Not so with this court’s ruling, which basically argues that because Google operates worldwide, it is automatically amenable to any regulation around the globe (even though Google isn’t even one of the parties in the lawsuit!). Read on…

Related article:
How the European Google Decision May Have Nothing To Do With a Right to Be Forgotten” (Privacy Perspectives | Paul de Hert | June 19, 2014)