Chinese netizens evade censorship about Nobel winner Liu XiaoBo

JISHOU, HUNAN — Chinese dissident Liu XiaoBo received the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Friday, in absentia since he is still serving an 11-year prison sentence in China. The Chinese government was far from happy with the international attention paid Liu, who co-authored Charter ’08, a manifesto for democratic reforms in the Middle Kingdom. Foreign TV news coverage was blacked out, major news sites like the BBC and CNN were blocked, and any mentions of the award on domestic sites were rapidly deleted by the government’s army of censors. But netizens here are used to government censorship, and they have developed their own sly ways of getting their points across without being overt. One example is the “grass mud horse,” a mythical llama-like creature whose name in Chinese sounds much like telling someone to have sex with his mother. (Cuss words are usually censored in the media here. Well, the Chinese ones, anyway.) Danwei.org reports that admirers of Liu have been posting tributes on Twitter to other people surnamed Liu. The tributes have a double meaning — praise of Liu XiaoBo and also the other figure sharing his family name. here are some examples. Their names are linked to Wikipedia articles ...

Nobel ceremony is Friday – guess who won’t be there 1

[Updated November 7.] JISHOU, HUNAN — The recipient of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, Liu XiaoBo of China, is still in prison serving out an 11-year sentence for “inciting subversion.” His wife is confined — unwillingly — to her Beijing home. Liu’s brothers are under close observation. A noted Chinese artist, Ai WeiWei, has been prevented from leaving China. Get the picture? Liu’s “crime,” according to Beijing, is his involvement in writing Charter ’08. The document, signed by thousands of Chinese, calls for a multi-party political system and guarantees of human rights already included in the Chinese constitution. That the Nobel committee selected Liu for the Peace Prize has China’s party leaders very pissed off, since it calls attention to his status as a political prisoner. Despite calls from international leaders to release him, Beijing continues to keep him in prison, and his family members in China. It means that prize itself will not be handed out to anyone. From the BBC: It also appears likely that the prize itself will not be handed out during the ceremony because no-one from Liu Xiaobo’s family has said they can attend, the Nobel committee secretary says. The $1.4m (£900,000) award can be ...

Censorship, Chinese style 4

[UPDATES 10/11/10: Liu’s wife visited him in prison yesterday, and was placed under house arrest upon leaving. Her ties to the outside world have been severed and she can only leave her home in a police car. Meanwhile, authorities have arrested people celebrating Liu’s award. China-based bloggers, like Han Han, have also had their sites censored. (Han Han’s post about Liu for 10/8/10 is now blank.] JISHOU, HUNAN — By now, you have probably heard that Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese dissident, has won the Nobel Peace Prize. But if you were in China, you would hardly know it. Government censors blacked out CNN cable TV reports, like the one below. The China Daily, the nation’s English-language, government-backed newspaper and website, had nothing about the award this evening. Searching for his name in Chinese characters (刘晓波) using Google or Yahoo just gave me a generic “server not found” message. However, if I used the pinyin version of his name, I had no problem finding and reading news reports about him. I assume that breech will be closed soon, since searching for his name on Wikipedia gave me a similar “server not found” message. Liu is serving an 11-year prison sentence in ...
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