I did a show yesterday on China’s censorship and human rights record. A few people have told me that in Australia, we can say what we like and do what we like. Really?
Why is KRUDD spending $60 million on Internet censorship?
Why did a Gold Coast teenager get arrested and charged for wearing a â€œblasphemousâ€ t-shirt?
Why was Haneef held without charge for 12 days?
Why was Dr Phillip Nitschkeâ€™s book on assisted suicide banned?
Why were two Islamic books banned?
China has censorship. Australia has censorship. Ours may be less strict and more sophisticated, but if you want to argue against the principle of censorship, letâ€™s fight it at home first. Iâ€™ll be there with you. Letâ€™s just avoid the mass hysteria and hypocrisy of criticizing easy targets when we have similar laws at home. Thatâ€™s just the way the mass media and governments deflect attention from what is happening in our own backyards.
Australia has laws about what and can’t be said. So does China. And China isn’t going to change until the people of China was it to and do something about it en masse.
If Australia REALLY wants to protest China’s human rights record, let’s boycott the Olympics. We could also stop selling them coal but I suspect economic sanctions hurt innocent civilians more than the people in power. However let’s stop censorship at home first, then perhaps we’ll be in a position to critique other countries.
On today’s show I’m joined by Sophie Peer, China Campaign Co-ordinator for Amnesty International, Fi Bendall from the Bendall Group, and Ben Barren, social media baron, to discuss the online campaign Amnesty have run over the last 3 weeks to raise awareness of China’s human rights record. The campaign asked Australian bloggers to unite and support their Chinese counterparts who have been banned, blocked, denied and imprisoned by the Chinese government for using the Internet to express their right to freedom of speech. The destination site for the campaign was UNCENSOR.com.au. The other site they recommend on the show is Stilgherrian’s blog.
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The G’Day World theme music:
“Secrets of Life” (mp3)
from “End of Days”
(Dark Star Records)
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