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Chinese Authorities Restrict Nobel Peace Prize News and Communications with Outside

October 9, 2010

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Chinese authorities have attempted to severely restrict the dissemination of news about the Nobel Peace Prize; they have cut off communications from key persons under surveillance and have prevented people from celebrating. 

Ding Zilin (丁子霖), the spokeswoman of the Tiananmen Mothers who is currently in Wuxi, informed HRIC that her phone lines have been cut off since October 7, 2010. That day, Ding's phone went dead right after she said to HRIC, "Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波) being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize is the happiest event, the best news I've had in the past 21 years...."

On the morning of October 9, Ding borrowed a friend's cell phone and called HRIC from Wuxi. She said that her home's Internet connection has also been cut off. She said that her husband Jiang Peikun (蒋培坤) is ill, and she feared she would not able to reach anyone or call an ambulance in an emergency. When she used someone else's phone to call her home line, she got a recording saying that the line was busy. Ding said that this is outrageous and that she made a protest to the police. 

Also on the day that the Nobel Peace Prize was announced, members of the Guizhou Human Rights Symposium were planning to commemorate the occasion in Wal-mart Square in Guiyang, Guizhou Province. The police prevented the commemoration, taking activist and organizer Chen Xi (陈西) away at 7 p.m. and keeping him held until 11 p.m. The police also detained Huang Yanming (黄燕明), Du Heping (杜和平), and Li Renke (李仁科). Others who went to the square to for the event were told by police to leave.