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Myanmar’s Military Releases Eight of 19 Detained Rakhine Residents

Eight people among 19 who went missing last week after being detained by Myanmar’s military in restive Rakhine state were released from a regional military camp, the former prisoners and their family members told RFA Thursday. Four of the prisoners, released Thursday morning, were detained in Alekyun village in An township’s Dalet Chaung tract. They were part of a 14-member search party looking for a missing fisherman from the village. The othe..

COVID-19 Border Closure Hits Cambodians Serving Thai Border Hard

Cambodia’s border restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic have taken a huge toll on the livelihood of citizens relying on commerce or migrant work in neighboring Thailand, workers and local leaders near the frontier told RFA on Thursday. Villagers from Poipet in Banteay Meanchy province told RFA’s Khmer Service that they are struggling with lost income as a result of the Thailand border closure, which began in March as the pandemic was s..

Extradition Treaty That Could Deport Uyghurs From Turkey to China Faces Uncertainty in Ankara

An extradition treaty that could be used to forcibly deport Uyghurs from Turkey to China where they are at risk of persecution faces an uncertain fate in parliament, according to Turkish opposition lawmakers, while cases that highlight Beijing’s influence over Ankara have raised fears among Uyghur exiles. Many of the more than 50,000 Uyghurs who live in Turkey fled there to escape persecution in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), ..

The Beauty and the Sorrow That I Witnessed in Xinjiang: Interview

Abu is a young man from Taiwan. In 2019, he rode on his bicycle to Xinjiang, traveled around the province for almost two months, and shared on social media what he saw and heard. In a video taken in Kashgar’s Old Town in southern Xinjiang, he shared details of his conversations with locals about what really happens in Xinjiang’s re-education camps, and this sparked further discussions online. Below is RFA reporter Jane Tang’s interview with Abu: ..

US Asks For Meeting with Tibet’s Detained Panchen Lama

The U.S. government would like to meet in person with Tibet’s Panchen Lama, who vanished into Chinese custody as a young boy 25 years ago this week and has not been heard from since, a State Department spokesman told RFA on Thursday. “This Administration would welcome the opportunity to meet with the Panchen Lama in person,” the spokesman said, noting that only Beijing so far knows the answers to questions asked around the world about the circums..

China Considers Bill Limiting Hong Kong Opposition Activity

AdvertisementChina’s ceremonial parliament will consider a bill that could limit opposition activity in Hong Kong, a spokesperson said Thursday, appearing to confirm speculation that China will sidestep the semi-autonomous territory’s own lawmaking body in enacting legislation to crack down on activity Beijing considers subversive. Zhang Yesui said the National People’s Congress will deliberate a bill on “establishing and improving the legal sys..

One of Four Suspects Charged in Myanmar Acid Attack Case

Police in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady region have charged one of four suspects for their involvement in an acid attack on a businesswoman last October, with the victim and her lawyer saying they did not understand why the other three were not charged, she told RFA on Wednesday. Leh Leh Win, the 30-year-old victim who filed a criminal complaint on March 19 at Pantanaw Myoma Police Station, said she believes that the attack that occurred outside her cent..

North Korea Conscripts Citizens for ‘Farming Battles’ During COVID-19 Crisis

North Korea is moving forward with its annual “farming battle” labor-mobilization campaign despite the coronavirus crisis, raising health concerns as it is not providing facemasks to citizens conscripted to plant crops, sources in the country told RFA. The free-labor drive comes as North Korea, which uses military phrases to motivate workers in agriculture and industry, is facing grain shortfalls made worse by COVID-19 border closures with China..

Chinese Sugar Company Leases Parts of Cambodian Land Concession to Farmers

A Chinese sugar company with a large long-term land concession in Cambodia came under fire from NGOs Tuesday for leasing parts of the concession to local villagers, collecting rent instead of engaging in the activities stipulated in its contract with the Cambodian government. The Hengfu Group Sugar Industry, the mother company of five local subsidiaries in Cambodia, was awarded a 70-year concession in 2011 spanning 400,000 hectares (1,544 square..

North Korea Cracks Down on ‘Grasshopper Markets’ After Shuttering Official Marketplaces Over COVID-19 Fears

As the North Korean authorities have shut down major marketplaces across Ryanggang province, in the county's north near the Chinese border, as part of intensified efforts to stop COVID-19, making life harder for citizens who make the bulk of their income from side businesses selling daily necessities. Typical goods for sale in these markets include clothes, meat and other food items, cooking oil and other goods for household use. The market..

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