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Anti-graft activists in China targets of violence

Sunday, Aug 04, 2013 - 01:39

Aug. 4 - Online whistleblowers targeted in crackdown. Julie Noce reports.

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45 year old Li Jianxin sits in a hospital in southern China awaiting another operation. He's been receiving treatment since early July when two men thew acid on him and slashed him with knives. Punishment, he says, for trying to expose government corruption on his blog. Li says when President Xi Jingping called on quote 'the supervision of the people' to help fight corruption he and other human rights activists took this as an optimistic message for citizens to get involved. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) INJURED ONLINE WHISTLEBLOWER, LI JIANXIN, SAYING: "Back then we praised and believed in the country's policy of online supervision. It was like a morale booster. It signified that the nation's leaders attach importance to and support our anti-corruption efforts on the Internet." But the reality is quite different... Li is one of many anti-graft activists who've been targeted in a recent crackdown where punishment includes harassment, threats, or worse. Reuters knows of at least 24 online whistleblowers who are demanding accountability from government officials. At least six have been attacked or threatened. For citizens who want to file complaints against the government, official methods of recourse seldom work. Every day, hundreds of people from across the country stand in front of the State Bureau for Petitions and Visits hoping to get their cases heard. Some have been here for years trying to get recognition that almost never materialises. For now, Li's determination remains. Despite his injuries he says he plans to continue his blog working to expose government corruption.

Anti-graft activists in China targets of violence

Sunday, Aug 04, 2013 - 01:39

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