Appeal court keeps long jail terms, albeit reduced, for two newspaper executives

first_img Help by sharing this information China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison News Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures Follow the news on China April 27, 2021 Find out more March 12, 2021 Find out more June 16, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Appeal court keeps long jail terms, albeit reduced, for two newspaper executives Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) voiced outrage at yesterday’s decision by an appeal court in Guangzhou to maintain long prison terms for two former executives of the liberal daily Nanfang Dushi Bao, general manager Yu Huafeng and managing editor Li Minying, although it reduced the length of the terms imposed by a lower court.The case continues to be marred by irregularities and political pressure, Reporters Without Borders said. The organisation also protested against the continuing detention of the daily’s former editor Cheng Yizhong, who has been held by the police without being charged since 20 March.On appeal, the Guangzhou intermediate court reduced Yu’s prison sentence from 12 to eight years, and Li’s from 11 to six years. After the judges issued their ruling, Yu said responded: “You can manipulate the law, but not history.” He intends to appeal again to the Guangzhou high court.Reporters Without Borders said it was disgraceful to see an appeal court repeat point by point the arguments made in the lower court’s verdict, which had been crude and manipulated by the local authorities. The organisation added it hoped the high court would receive the appeal which Yu’s lawyer intended to file.”All the facts of his case need to be re-examined,” Reporters Without Borders said in a letter addressed to China’s ambassador to the United Nations in New York. “Sentences of six and eight years in prison for crimes of opinion are indefensible and contrary to the international undertakings given by the People’s Republic of China.”The government news agency Xinhua quoted the judges as saying: “The first verdicts were based on clear facts and real evidence. The verdict punished the crime and the judicial procedure was legal. But the punishment was relatively heavy.”The journalists’ defence lawyer, Xu Zhiyong, insisted on his clients’ innocence. “We all think it was a miscarriage of injustice,” he said. He reported that his law firm’s website, www.oci.org.cn, had been blocked by the authorities during the week preceding the hearing. He also deplored the news blackout about the case in the Chinese press.The arrests were in fact linked to a series of investigations carried by the liberal Guangzhou newspaper, particularly on Sars and the death of a young graphic artist, Sun Zhigang, beaten to death in a Guangzhou police station. They were all sacked from the newspaper before being detained.This conspiracy by the local authorities, including Guangzhou police chief, Zhu Suisheng, against this brave daily aims to foster a climate of fear among Chinese journalists. Reporters Without Borders has spoken to several of them. They described themselves as “crushed” and “terrified” by the arrests of the three journalists. Receive email alertscenter_img Organisation News ChinaAsia – Pacific ChinaAsia – Pacific RSF_en News June 2, 2021 Find out more to go further Newslast_img read more

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Don’t stop the music

first_imgYou never know when inspiration may strike, or why.Just ask Stephen Schwartz. Years ago, the famous lyricist and composer, known for his hit musicals “Godspell” and “Pippin,” was on a snorkeling trip when a friend told him about a book with an interesting spin on the classic “The Wizard of Oz.”“I just thought that’s the best idea I’ve ever heard in my life, and I have to get back to the mainland and get the rights, and I don’t know why,” said Schwartz. Ultimately, he turned the Gregory Maguire novel that turns the story on its head, telling it from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West, into the Broadway megahit musical “Wicked.”Schwartz participated in a conversation on Tuesday (Nov. 30) at Club Oberon along with Diane Paulus, artistic director of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.). The discussion, one of a longtime A.R.T. series involving performers, directors, producers, Harvard scholars, and the public, is in step with Paulus’ mission to “expand the boundaries of theater.”In retrospect, Schwartz realized that his connection to “Wicked” involved his identification with the main character, the notion of being an outcast, and the vilification of people in society. But at the time, he told the crowd, he simply envisioned it “on the stage.”Similar to inspirations for his other works, Schwartz said, “in some strange way I can see the whole thing right away.”Paulus agreed with that assessment of the creative process. “I think that’s what I feel when I get work. It’s like sense of the potential of it as a theatrical event,” she said.Together the pair said they sensed the possibilities for “The Blue Flower,” an upcoming production at the A.R.T. The avant-garde tale of love, art, and war is described as a “fusion of Kurt Weil and country-western music.”Schwartz, a consultant for the show, brought it to Paulus’ attention a number of years ago. She called the unique score, with its sense of passion and intelligence, “by far the most exciting music I had heard in years.” The new production, she added, is “exactly right” for the A.R.T. and its mission. “It takes music and theater and storytelling and is pushing the boundaries.”For Paulus and Schwartz, music is an integral part of the theatrical experience. They bristled at the notion offered by some critics that serious theater doesn’t include a score.“For me, the theater is music,” said Paulus. “When you are doing theater,” she added, “you want to take on every possible means of the theatrical event, and for that, music is at the core.”During their talk, they also offered tips to up-and-coming directors and producers in the audience. Paulus said her early experience directing opera and her training as a pianist helped to infuse in her own work a profound connection to music and its importance in storytelling.“What’s so great about an opera or a musical is you have the music, you have double the information giving you signals. … If you have studied an instrument or you can learn about music, it just empowers you.”When it comes to feedback, in essence, the harshest and most general criticisms are the most helpful, said Schwartz. Comments like “I was bored in that scene,” or “You lost me in the whole second half of the second act,” he said, tell you succinctly “what your problem is.”The best way to learn is to write and put on shows, added Schwartz — to work on shows in “any capacity.” He encouraged students interested in the theater to take advantage of Harvard’s “incredibly creative environment.”last_img read more

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