纽约时报:网络催生新一代中国社会活动家

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美联社
发表时间:2010年3月19日

译者:OY
 
美联社北京—-林秀英相信她的女儿是两年前在她们那个华南小镇上被一群和警察有关系的暴徒轮奸后失血过多而死的。
警察把她25岁的女儿严晓玲之死归结于异位怀孕。一年多来,这个文盲的母亲向福建省闽清县的多个政府部门进行申诉,向对她女儿之死投来关切眼神的人辩解。
50岁的林去年夏天见到自学成才的法律专家范艳琼时正在一个政府部门外哭泣。范根据林的说法详细记录下案情并发到了网上。另外两人游精佑和吴华英采访了林秀英,把视频发到了网上。
星期五三位(范、游、吴)被控诬告罪在法庭上等待宣判,如果罪名成立可获最高三年有期徒刑。
这是中国网络用户因其萌芽性质的社会活动—普通人通过Twitter、微博和其他网站散布冤情–成为攻击目标的最新的例子。
“网民们用网络谈论不公,”游的律师刘晓原说,“但是地方官员却用公权力去镇压他们。”
十几个博客作者在负责该案宣判的福州市马尾区人民法院门外出现,从现场即时发布信息和照片到网络上。据说他们遇见了一百多个警察和便衣。案件被无限期推迟。
中国阻止它认为有害的或淫秽的资料在网上传播,这些东西往往包含与执政的共产党的观点冲突的信息。这种限制促使网络巨头谷歌二月份宣布它可能关闭中国境内的Google.cn,因为它不想再与北京的互联网审查合作。
但是有一群活跃的技术娴熟的网民可以轻易地翻越阻挡访问Facebook、YouTube 和Twitter的“防火长城”(“翻墙”)。他们只是三亿八千四百万网民中的一小部分,但却是最直言不讳的:年轻、思想开明、不畏惧质疑共产党政府。
中国用户因拥有Twitter这一论坛而狂喜,在这里他们可以自由地谈论政治敏感性话题—当然必须在140字之内。
“在新技术的帮助下,公民实践监督政府的权利更加普遍和方便了。在传统媒体上很难发表文章而在因特网上却很容易,”中国青年政治学院的法律专家周泽(音)这样说道。他大胆说出了在因特网上发表评论而被拘留的问题。
那些因帮助林(秀英)而被逮捕或拘留的人正是因言获罪的最新例子。
河南的王帅在网上打大胆说出家乡的土地征收问题后在上海被拘留。内蒙古的吴保全也是因为在网上批评了自己村子里的土地补贴办法而被判刑一年(上诉后又加刑一年)。
当然也有少数几次胜利。
当局放弃了对山东省一位因控告当地党的书记腐败而被拘留的人的起诉。广州市一个不受欢迎的垃圾焚化炉项目也被叫停。一个卡拉OK酒吧女郎捅死了一个喝醉酒后把她堵在墙角要求发生性关系的政府官员后也没有受到惩罚。每个案件都得到了网民的高度关注,细节在 博客和论坛里传播。
在南方城市厦门做翻译工作的Guo Baofeng是因为把一段对林(秀英)的访谈视频发到海外网站而被警察带走的人之一。他在网民中出名是因为在被警察拘留期间还在更新Twitter信息。
为了避免发汉字的麻烦,他用英语在Twitter上发信息,说:“请帮帮我,警察睡觉时我有机会使用电话,”和“我被马尾警方抓起来了,SOS”。 郭三个星期后被放了出来,但是仍然处于警察监视之下。
林,那位母亲,并不十分了解互联网和它的功能,但是她知道网络可以帮忙让她女儿的案子处于公众监督之下。 因为贫穷和缺乏教育,除了尽力参加庭审以支持那些帮她传播冤情苦语的人(范、游、吴三网民)之外,她能做的很少。
“相对于我来说当官的很有优势,因为我既没文化又没有钱和关系,”她说,“幸亏还有那些帮助我的记者和公民。他们帮了我很大的忙,我希望他们能继续帮我。”
——
林秀英谈她女儿之死的视频(中文)[墙外]
 

Net Produces New Generation of China Activists

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: March 19, 2010

Filed at 11:15 a.m. ET

BEIJING (AP) — Lin Xiuying believes her daughter bled to death after being gang-raped two years ago by a group of thugs that had ties to the police in their southern Chinese town.

For more than a year, the illiterate mother appealed to various government departments in Fujian province’s Mingqin county, pleading for someone to take a closer look at the death of 25-year-old Yan Xiaoling that police blamed on an ectopic pregnancy.

Lin, 50, was sobbing outside a government office last summer when she met self-taught legal expert Fan Yanqiong. Fan took down the details of the case from Lin and then posted them online. Two others, You Jingyou and Wu Huaying, spoke to the mother and posted their video interview online.

On Friday, the three were in court awaiting a verdict on charges of making false accusations, which carries a sentence of up to three years in jail.

It is the latest example of Chinese Internet users being targeted for their budding grass-roots activism — ordinary people spreading the word about grievances from every corner of the country with postings on Twitter, microblogs and other Web sites.

”Netizens are using the Internet to talk about injustice,” said Liu Xiaoyuan, You’s lawyer. ”But local officials just use their public power to suppress them.”

Dozens of bloggers showed up outside Mawei Distrist People’s Court on Friday in Fuzhou city where the verdict was to be announced, tweeting constantly and posting photos from the scene online. They reportedly were met by more than 100 uniformed and plainclothes police. The case was indefinitely postponed.

China blocks online materials it deems to be harmful or pornographic, which frequently includes information that contradicts the views of the ruling Communist Party. Such restrictions prompted Internet giant Google to announce in January that it may close China-based Google.cn because it no longer wanted to cooperate with Beijing’s Internet censorship.

But there is a vibrant community of tech-savvy users who can easily hop over the ”Great Firewall” that blocks access to sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. They are a minority of the 384 million people online in China but among the most vocal: young, educated, liberal-minded and unafraid of questioning the Communist government.

Twitter in particular has been harnessed by Chinese users who revel in having a forum where they can speak freely about politically sensitive matters — in 140 characters or less, of course.

”With the help of new technology, it’s become quite common and convenient for citizens to exercise their right of supervising the government. It’s always hard to publish articles in traditional media and it’s much easier to do so on the Internet,” said Zhou Ze, a law professor at China Youth University for Political Science who has spoken out about detentions related to online comments.

Those arrested or detained for trying to help Lin are just the latest to be punished for their activism.

Wang Shuai was detained in Shanghai after speaking out online about land confiscation in his hometown in central China’s Henan province. Wu Baoquan was sentenced to 1 1/2 years in jail for criticizing — also online — a land compensation plan in his Inner Mongolian village.

But there have been a few victories, too.

Authorities dropped charges against a man in the eastern province of Shandong who was detained after accusing his local Communist Party secretary of corruption. An unpopular garbage incinerator project in the southern city of Guangzhou has been put on hold. A karaoke bar waitress went unpunished after fatally stabbing a drunk government official who cornered her and demanded sex. Each case got strong attention from Chinese citizens online as details spread through blogs and forums.

Guo Baofeng, who works as a translator in the southern city of Xiamen, was among those taken away by police after posting a video interview of Lin on an overseas Web site. He became famous among Chinese netizens for sending Twitter updates while in police custody.

”Pls help me, I grasp the phone during police sleep,” and ”i have been arrested by Mawei police, SOS,” he tweeted in English from his cell phone, avoiding Chinese characters that take longer to input. Guo was released from detention after about three weeks, though he is still under police monitoring.

Lin, the mother, does not have a deep understanding of the Internet or its workings, but knows that it is helping to keep her daughter’s case in the public eye. Poor and uneducated, she can do little other than try to support those who helped spread the word of her plight by attending their court hearings.

”The authorities take advantage of us because I’m illiterate and have no money or family connections,” she said. ”Thankfully there are reporters and citizens helping me. They’ve helped so much and I hope they can keep helping us.”

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