BBG Watch Commentary

Wei Jingsheng, an internationally known leader in the 1978 Chinese Democracy Wall Movement, former political prisoner in China for 18 years and winner of the 1994 Olof Palme Prize and the 1996 Sakharov Prize has called for a completely independent investigation of the Voice of America (VOA) senior management’s decision to shorten a live interview with Chinese businessman turned whistleblower Guo Wengui. The shortening of the live interview with Guo Wengui ordered by Voice of America director Amanda Bennett, one of several Obama administration holdovers in the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) agency, has caused a catastrophic drop in VOA’s reputation and credibility in China as seen in thousands of angry and sarcastic comments from Chinese web users.

Chinese Americans have organized protest demonstrations in front of the VOA building in Washington, DC.

Chinese Americans and other supporters of media freedom protest against censorship in front of the Voice of America building in Washington, D.C.
Chinese Americans stage a protest in May 2017 against censorship at the Voice of America by placing two large funeral wreaths and carrying a mock coffin in front of the VOA building in Washington, DC.

Instead of accepting responsibility for poor management of the interview and the decision to shorten it after promo announcements have already been made to the audience, Bennett put five VOA Mandarin Service journalists on paid administrative leave pending investigation. No senior executives involved in making the decision to shorten the live interview were asked to take leave. There has been no sign of prior engagement on the planning of an important and sensitive interview or any word afterward from her boss, BBG CEO John F. Lansing, also an Obama administration appointee.

Wei Jingsheng who met with U.S. Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) at the Vietnam Human Rights Day event on Capitol Hill talked with him about the recent adverse effects in China of the Voice of America management’s decision to shorten the Guo Wengui interview. He pointed out that the incident “produced a negative perception of the U.S. government and is a threat to freedom of expression.” Wei Jingsheng urged a completely independent investigation of the VOA Guo Wengui interview incident.

The Wei Jingsheng Foundation reported that Rep. Smith agreed with Mr. Wei’s appeal.

Voice of America director Amanda Bennett denies that she caved in to pressure from the Chinese government which threatened to take unspecified actions against VOA correspondents and visitors in China if VOA proceeded with the interview. Until that point, the VOA and BBG senior management seemed either uninformed about the interview, disengaged, or unconcerned. Bennett said that she was only concerned with upholding high standards of journalism by giving Chinese communist party officials an advance opportunity to respond to any allegations from Mr. Guo.

Under Bennett’s watch, some VOA reporters and language services have posted multiple one-sided allegations against U.S. political figures without any balance, challenge or advance requests for a response. Some of these one-sided reports received praise from the VOA director. Most of these attacks were on Donald Trump and his immigration policy, but Senator Bernie Sanders was also a target of a one-sided attack in a VOA posted commentary when he ran against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination for president in 2016.

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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A1010-W659
魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号:A1010-W659

Release Date: May 12, 2017
发布日:2017年5月12日

Topic: Wei Jingsheng Gives Speech on Vietnam Human Rights Day and Talks to Rep. Chris Smith about the Interruption Incident at Voice of America
标题:魏京生参加越南人权日活动并与史密斯议员谈美国之音断播问题

Original Language Version: Chinese (English at beginning, Chinese version at the end)
此号以中文为准(英文在前,中文在后)

Note: Please use “Simplified Chinese (GB2312)” encoding to view the Chinese parts of this release. If this mail does not display properly in your email program, please send your request for special delivery to us or visit:
http://www.weijingsheng.org/report/report2017/report2017-05 /WeiJSspeaks170512VietnamHRdayA1010-W659.htm which contains identical information.

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Wei Jingsheng Gives Speech on Vietnam Human Rights Day and Talks to Rep. Chris Smith about the Interruption Incident at Voice of America

In 1994, the US Congress passed a resolution to designate the date May 11 as Vietnam Human Rights Day. In the past 23 years, Vietnam Human Rights Day has been held in the US Congress every year. Human rights friends and Congressional members have been invited to speak and to express their views on the related issues. Wei Jingsheng has attended this activity for many years. His speeches related to Vietnam and Asia were quite popular. This year, Wei Jingsheng was invited to speak again at the event on May 11, 2017. He not only delivered his views, but also called on all the peoples of Asia to unite together to resist the persecution of the communist regimes.

Wei Jingsheng also met with US Congressman Chris Smith who participated in the event as well. He thanked Rep. Smith for his support for the human rights of Asian countries over the years and talked with him about the recent adverse effects to the Chinese people by the Voice of America when it was interrupted live. He pointed out that this incident also produced a negative perception of the US government and is a threat to freedom of expression. Wei Jingsheng once again urged for a completely independent investigation about this incident. Rep. Smith and his team also responded and agreed with Mr. Wei’s appeal, and informed him of the current stage of the situation as well.

During the evening, Wei Jingsheng, Huang Ciping and other friends of the Foundation and Tibetan friends also participated in the Vietnamese Human Rights Day banquet to celebrate human rights and build friendship together.

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中文版

Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A1010-W659
魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号:A1010-W659

Release Date: May 12, 2017
发布日:2017年5月12日

Topic: Wei Jingsheng Gives Speech on Vietnam Human Rights Day and Talks to Rep. Chris Smith about the Interruption Incident at Voice of America
标题:魏京生参加越南人权日活动并与史密斯议员谈美国之音断播问题

Original Language Version: Chinese (English at beginning, Chinese version at the end)
此号以中文为准(英文在前,中文在后)

如有中文乱码问题,请与我们联系或访问:
http://www.weijingsheng.org/report/report2017/report2017-05/WeiJSspeaks170512VietnamHRdayA1010-W659.htm

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魏京生参加越南人权日活动并与史密斯议员谈美国之音断播问题

五月十一日是每年一度的越南人权日。一九九四年,美国国会通过法案确定了越南人权日。二十三年来每年在美国国会都有活动,邀请各国友人和国会议 员讲演,或就越南有关的问题发表见解。魏京生先生多年来就越南及亚洲问题的讲演颇受欢迎。2017年他再次受到邀请并在五月十一日的活动上做了演 讲。他不仅仅发表了他的看法,并呼吁亚洲各国人民团结起来,共同反抗各国共产党政权的迫害。

魏京生先生还与参与此活动的美国国会议员史密斯见面并交谈。他感谢史密斯议员多年来对亚洲各国人权的支持,并再次与他谈到最近美国之音断播事件在 中国人民中的恶劣影响,以及人们由此对美国政府的负面看法及对言论自由的威胁。魏京生再次呼吁必须有完全独立的调查来查清这一事件。史密斯议员及 团队也回应并认同魏先生的呼吁,并向他通告了目前的最新情况。

当晚,魏京生、黄慈萍和其他基金会的朋友及西藏友人等参加了越南人权日的宴会,一同庆祝人权,共建友谊。

相关照片:
http://www.weijingsheng.org/pic/newsletters/newsletters2017/newsletters2017-2/WeiJSspeaks170511onVietnamHRday-c-3.jpg
http://www.weijingsheng.org/pic/newsletters/newsletters2017/newsletters2017-2/WeiJS&HuangCP170511withSmithC-c-3.jpg
http://www.weijingsheng.org/pic/newsletters/newsletters2017/newsletters2017-2/VietnamHRday170511banquet-c-6.jpg

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魏京生基金会及中国民主运动海外联席会议以推动中国的人权与民主为己任。
我们欢迎任何形式的帮助与贡献。我们愿与世界上为人权与民主而奋斗的人们一起努力。

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欢迎投稿(暂无稿费)或批评建议,请寄信箱: HCP@WEIJINGSHENG.ORG

魏京生基金会电话: 1-202-270-6980
通讯地址:Wei Jingsheng Foundation, PO Box 15449, Washington, DC 20003, USA

魏京生基金会及中国民主运动海外联席会议网址:WWW.weijingsheng.org
中国团结工会的网址为:www.ChinaLaborUnion.org

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