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Chinese Dissenters Who Were Helped by Geng Xiaonan Return the Support After Her Arrest

Xu Zhangrun (R) and Geng Xiaonan (L) are shown in an undated photoTwitter/RFA

Artist Geng Xiaonan for years quietly helped dissidents and liberal intellectuals who’d crossed China’s Communist Party and lost their jobs or their freedom – most recently ordering online groceries for former Tsinghua University scholar Xu Zhangrun, who was blacklisted by vendors following his arrest in July.

So when Geng and her husband were taken away by police in Beijing’s Haidian district on Sept. 9 on suspicion of running an “illegal business operation” after the film producer and publisher made public her support for Xu, it was the legal scholar himself who led the charge to publicize the couple’s plight.

“Xiaonan is a brave woman… Let’s speak up for her; voice our concerns,” Xu told RFA.

Since party general secretary Xi Jinping began an indefinite term in office in March 2018, his administration has stepped up a purge of liberal intellectuals from higher education institutions.

Authorities in Beijing detained Xu on July 6 after he had published strident critiques of Xi and calls for political reforms online, on allegations of “seeking out prostitutes.”

He was released a week later, but told the media that he had been fired from his teaching post and subjected to public sanctions for “moral corruption” by Tsinghua University’s law school.

Geng, the owner of a private art and culture salon in China and an independent film producer, has championed dissidents who have taken great risk in Xi’s China.

Dissidents who have been aided by Geng include Xu Zhiyong, a legal scholar who called for Xi’s resignation and was sentenced to four years in prison; Early Rain Covenant Church Reverend Wang Yi, who was sentenced to 9 years in jail for inciting subversion of state power and for running an illegal operation; and citizen journalist Chen Qiushi, who sneaked into Wuhan during its lockdown to report from epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been missing for since March.

Blacklisted online

After his release, from detention, Xu Zhangrun was fired from Tsinghua University losing his livelihood, while an on-line blacklist stripped him of the right to receive donations from the public.

Geng Xiaonan began to order groceries online for Xu on August 26th to relieve his financial burden. She found that Taobao, TMall, and Hema — the three grocery order apps owned by popular e-Commerce merchant Alibaba – had set “Xu Zhangrun” as a “prohibited” search phrase.

“She was arrested because of me!” Xu told RFA.

Xu said Geng had texted him last week, saying that police has arrested several employees of her husband’s publishing company on Sept. 6, and two days later, authorities blocked her husband’s his company’s Weibo accounts.

Geng then told Xu early on Sept. 9 that she was out running errands, and went incommunicado, along with her husband, Xu said, calling it “definitely unusual.”

Friends of Geng told RFA’s Mandarin Service before her disappearance, a series of events pointed toward gathering trouble for her, beginning in early August with a police visit to her father’s house in Sichuan.

On Aug. 14, police in Beijing’s Haidian district visited Geng’s home, checking on exit routes and the electricity breaker box. On Aug. 27, police secretly searched warehouses of the publishing company that Geng Xiaonan’s husband runs in Beijing and neighboring Hebei province, warning the warehouse managers to keep the search secret from the couple, friends said.

Geng told RFA in early September that she thought these actions did not pose great danger and there was no need to report on these incidents

Intellectuals back Geng

Several well-known Chinese female intellectuals, including Tsinghua Professor Guo Yuhua, former China Party School Professor Cai Xia, and Hoover Institute visiting researcher Li Nanyang, have all taken up Geng’s cause.

“Xiaonan is a good friend of mine for years. She’s kind and righteous,” said Cai, who was expelled from party’s top training academy and stripped of her pension in August over speeches she made criticizing the country’s direction under Xi.

“For many years she has been so kind to help senior political dissidents,” she said, mentioning former Zhao Ziyang aide Bao Tong, who remains under house arrest since supporting 1989 student demonstrators, and other liberal figures.

“Her chivalrous courage is admirable. She has worked so hard to rescue Xu Zhangrun and other persons of conscience. She is a talented writer of remarkable style. Now that she is being placed in great danger. We call for her release. “

Analysts noted that charges of “seeking out prostitutes” have been used before by the Chinese authorities to target peaceful critics and activists, or anyone who runs afoul of local officials and powerful vested interests. Xu has lodged a legal challenge, and denies the charges.

Rev Wang Yi was also jailed on charges that included “running an illegal operation” – the same accusations Geng and her husband are facing.

“Under the authoritarian dictatorship, the kind suffer while the wicked run rampant. Random citizens may lose their freedom for the sake of conscience and justice,” said Xu.

“Geng Xiaonan spoke for justice. She cried for the political dissidents who lost their lives,” he added.

“We cannot just sit back and let it be. We shall make our voices heard and call for her release,” he told RFA.

Reported by Bei Ming for RFA’s Mandarin Service. Translated by Min Eu. Written in English by Paul Eckert

Copyright © 1998-2020, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036. https://www.rfa.org

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India News Brief

18 September 2020

COVID-19 Cases:5,118,2553  Deaths: 83,198

COVID-19 At a Glance 

The new guidelines issued by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on 29 August

Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from 7thSeptember 2020 in a graded manner, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA)/ Ministry of Railways (MOR), in consultation with MHA. In this regard, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by MOHUA.

Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 101 persons, with effect from 21st September 2020. However, such limited gatherings can be held with mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer.Open air theatres will be permitted to open with effect from 21stSeptember 2020.

Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to remain closed for students and regular class activity up to 30 September.
Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged. However, following will be permitted, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, with effect from 21stSeptember 2020 for which, SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW):

Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres (excluding open air theatre) and similar places remain closed.

According to MHA directive, lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till 30th September, 2020.

COVID-19: Highlights 

Religious Places Visit: No Touching of Deity, No Sparkling of Holy Water No Prasada in Temples Wearing Mask Thermal Screening is a must 

Shopping Malls Visit: Elderly People With 65 Years of Age and Children Below 10 Years Are Advised to Stay at Home.

Restaurant and food courts in malls to operate at 50 per cent seating capacity with a mandatory distance of six feet between tables. No common prayer mats, physical offerings like prasad, or sprinkling of holy water, in places of worship. Age and health-based restrictions on stepping out of home. Masks to be mandatory, and the Aarogya Setu app 'recommended' for all.

Use of masks, thermal screening, social distancing and sanitisation, the guidelines  require people above 65 years of age, specially  people with comorbidities, pregnant woman, and children below the age of 10 years, to stay at home. Masks are mandatory at all times, including inside restaurants

Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Indian Health Ministry 

  • International air travel, Metro rail services not allowed 

Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and, social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations will not allowed..

According to MHA guidelines, in Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and Union Territories.

There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission or approval or e-permit will be required for such movement

But  states have the freedom to decide on public movement.

How to identify Fake News or Messeges on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition

Follow WHO guidelines

www.who.int

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Don't rely on viral social media messages such as Coronavirus Infected Indian Currencies of Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 Notes Found, Muslim Man Spit in Food At Indian Restaurant.....Always Check Authentic Sources.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

www.boomlive.in

www.altnews.in

https://check4spam.com

https://smhoaxslayer.com

www.factchecker.in

www.allsides.com

www.factcheck.org

www.newsbusters.org

www.politifact.com

www.snopes.com

www.propublica.org

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they a.re developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us info@crimeandmoreworld.com or Whats App:+919073399779

COVID-19 Related Conspiracy Theories:
https://fsi.stanford.edu/news/china-covid19

 

 

Our COVID-19 Stories

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