China Should Stop Media Censorship and Blockade to Save People's Lives
World Heath Organization (WHO) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Sound of Hope Radio Network
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However, the practice of media censorship, suppression and blockade by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) does not merely lead to an ever-deteriorating systematic corruption.
On 2003, due to CCP s media censorship and blockade, the world lost the critical period to control and prevent the outbreak of SARS pandemic. The death toll would probably go beyond imagination if without the courageous exposure of the real situation of SARS epidemic in China by Dr. Jiang Yanyong.
On February 2005, in handling the incident of explosion at Sun Jiawan Mine in Liaoning province, CCP quickly blocked all independent media reports and the official media only reported that about 230 people died. However, the reporters from Sound of Hope Radio Network discovered that at least 3000 people have died in this incident via telephone interviewing many local residents. The difference is: the authorities only counted the dead bodies that could be found, while the reporter from Sound of Hope presented the number of workers disappeared in this incident.
These cases clearly indicate that peoples lives become a game of numbers in the statistics when CCP practices media censorship and suppression in China. And media censorship and blockade during a public health crisis is as good as taking peoples lives directly.
This year, when the authorities in China claimed that the so-called pig plague in Sichuan province was under control, Sound of Hope Radio reported that the plague is still ongoing in some villages in Sichuan province and the government was fooling the public with lies packaged with scientific knowledge. Later in August, there were similar cases documented again in HongKong and other regions. And experts outside China have seriously questioned the identity of the pathogen as China claimed it to be a common bacteria--Streptococcus Suis.
Also in this year, numerous cases have been reported about outbreak of bird flu in countries around China, such Vietnam, Japan, North Korea, etc. Even though there was severe cases of outbreak of bird flu in Qinghai Province in China, the CCP refused any collaborated investigation and prevention with international health organizations. And CCP frequently claimed that the bird flu was under control in China. However, in the summer, outbreak of bird flu was documented in Tibet. Now, the bird flu cases have been reported in Russia and migrating toward Europe. into giant man-made catastrophes again, if the world is losing the critical time period to control/prevent the pandemic of bird flu without the full understanding of scales of bird flu epidemic in China.
Today, the freedom of press is no longer just an outcry of Chinese people for their rights to obtain information freely, or just a hallmark for Chinas progress towards democracy. In fact, press freedom in China is essential and vital for Chinese people to protect their rights to live. Moreover, the globalization of the world has also made it not longer an internal matter of China, cause the media censorship in China is also threatening the lives of people around the world.
We urgently calls for all governments, NGO, media and public to urge China to stop media censorship, suppression and blockade, especially in the period of 60th annual UN summit and the visit of Chinas president Hu Jingtao to North America. We, the undersigned, urge the general public to sign and support the following urgent petition:
1. World Health Organization (WHO) shall take more effective approach to urge China to provide tissue and blood samples from patients or sicken/died animals to international health organizations for joint investigation for the epidemic of bird flu and pig Plague.
2. China should allow independent coverage from domestic and international media on any public health crisis or incidents of disasters in China.
3. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) should urge China to stop jamming the shortwave radio signals from Sound of Hope Radio, Radio Free Asia, etc. Chinese people should have the rights to obtain information from sources other than CCP official news.
The world shall remember that media censorship, suppression and blockade in China would jeopardize people's lives in the world.
Sound of Hope Radio Network
Website: www.soundofhope.net, email: [email protected]
August 29, 2005