Wen flies into human rights storm – Jonathan Watts

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The Guardian seizes on Wen Jiabao‘s impending visit to the UK to summarize recent crackdowns on dissenting voices:

The Chinese prime minister, Wen Jiabao, flew into London today amid rising international criticism of his government’s crackdown on lawyers, journalists, NGOs and civil liberties activists.

In the most repressive phase since Mr Wen and President Hu Jintao came to power in 2003, at least 100 dissidents have been jailed, beaten or placed under house arrest in Beijing alone since the middle of last month, human rights groups said yesterday.

Adding to the chill, China has announced new media restrictions and launched an investigation of charity organisations and environment campaigners who receive foreign funding. [Full Text]

Included in the list of crackdowns is a recent triumvirate of high-profile trials”blind activist lawyer Chen Guangcheng, and journalists Zhao Yan and Ching Cheong.

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