Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Boston Globe Updates on Chai Ling's Nonprofit Work

Linda Matchan reports on Boston Globe today updating the status of Chai Ling's work in her nonprofit organization "All Girls Allowed," which fights against gender-selective abortion in China influenced by the country's one-child policy.

The newspaper describes her efforts as
Into this battle steps [Chai] Ling, who has had brushes with controversy even in this country. In civilian life she is the founder and president of Jenzabar, which makes educational software; her husband, Robert Maginn Jr., is chief executive. Jenzabar’s charitable foundation has committed $1 million to All Girls Allowed, which, with the help of private donations, dispatches volunteer foot soldiers to run four projects in China. A “Baby Shower’’ program gives financial incentives to mothers who keep their daughters. A scholarship program enrolls orphan girls in schools. All Girls Allowed provides legal aid to women who have been the victims of forced abortion.

It also operates antitrafficking campaigns, in one case crossing vast rural areas north of the Yellow River, distributing 60,000 pamphlets, and setting up a hotline in a successful search for a 3-year-old girl named Little Bean who’d been snatched in front of her house in 2010. The organization also hosts a website featuring profiles of kidnapped children and practical information on how to keep kids from being tricked or snatched. A typical post: “When walking with your child along the road, always have the child farthest away from the road to prevent traffickers from grabbing them as they speed by in a motorcycle or van."

[Chai] Ling reports that so far 550 mothers have received financial gifts, 25 orphans have enrolled in schools, and four children have been reunited with their parents. It’s modest progress considering the scope of the problem: according to the group’s own data, there are 1.3 million forced abortions in China every year, 1.1 million infants abandoned, and 200,000 children trafficked.
It describes Chai Ling as passionate in her endeavor, driven by her recent conversion to Christianity.

The paper also mentions controversies surrounding Chai Ling and her software company Jenzabar, including lawsuits brought by their former investors and employees. It says the court had cleared Chai Ling for any wrongdoings.

The other, perhaps more prominent, lawsuit is the one Chai Ling brought upon the producers of documentary "Gate of Heavenly Peace." Although that suit has been rejected by the court, the paper states that "Jenzabar is appealing."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hong Kong Police Harasses Man Wearing Tiananman Shirt

Since returning to the fold of China, the city of Hong Kong has kept most of its freedom. Every year in June, thousands of Hong Kong residents gather to remember the deaths of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre, the only remaining commemoration of significance worldwide.

But there are signs that more limits are being imposed on the freedom of expression. Yesterday, a man wearing a T-shirt with the slogans of "Overturn the Verdict of June Fourth" and "Build up Democracy" was forcefully taken away from the street and detained by the police. Apparently, the Vice Premier of China, Li Keqiang, was due to visit that neighborhood and could be embarrassed by the presence of the T-shirt. The man was later released.

The incident was caught on camera and played on the evening news:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ai Weiwei Talks, Ran Yunfei Walks

Almost half a year ago, during a wave of crackdown in China, many prominent dissidents were detained and/or arrested, some were charged with subversion. Among them were free lancer Ran Yunfei and famous artist Ai Weiwei.

Ai Weiwei's arrest in April caught world-wide attention and outrage. He was then released in June with parole conditions including no media interviews or participating in social media. He had kept his public silence, until now. This week, he showed up unexpected on Twitter, expressing concerns of his colleagues who were detained because of connections to him.

Even more strangely, he is now interviewed by the official newspaper Global Times. The paper describes him as "feisty" and quoted him saying "Of course you might live an easier life if you abandon some rights. But there are so many injustices, and limited educational resources. They all diminish happiness. I will never stop fighting injustice."

The interview was published in the English language edition of the paper. There was no mention in the Chinese language edition.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Ran Yunfei, who was detained in February, had just been released from prison. So far he had made no public statements.