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Europe

Bloggers debating Khodorkovsky's new trial

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-03-04

Today on the Web: A new trial for jailed Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky on charges of financial crimes began on Tuesday; Chinese bloggers mock Web censorship.

MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY
 

The former head of Russian oil group Yukos, Mikhaïl Khodorkovsky appears again before the courts. Already sentenced in 2005 to 8 years in prison for tax evasions, he risks 22 further years of detention in a case which mobilizes the net users. 12

 

Many documents on this subject are available on a site created by his lawyers. They criticise legal irregularities which could prejudice the case such as detention of potential witnesses. 12

 

On his blog, this Canadian lawyer who defended Khodorkovsky in 2005 believes this lawsuit, now in the presidency of Dimitri Medvedev, and thus in a new context, will reveal if Russia is further acknowledging legal rights. 12

 

This video posted on sharing sites underlines the political nature of the case. Recalling that Khodorkovsky financed opposition parties that were a threat to the Kremlin. 12

 

CHINA: INTERNET USERS AGAINST CENSORSHIP

 

Here is the grass mud horse, the new star of the Chinese Web. This amazing creature created by a net user has become the symbol of resistance to censorship. 8

 

It started when a Chinese user posted on the local Wikipedia site, Baidu Baike a file on this fictitious creature, pronouncing its name is a strong insult. Thus mocking methods of censorship triggered by keywords. 12

 

Other fantastic animals made their appearance such as the river crab, a play on words which evokes the word "harmony" in reference to the will of the government to harmonize the net i.e. to censor it. 10

 

As if to mock the authorities dozens of videos appeared online. In this parody of a programme broadcast for children on animals, and a new hit for cyberspace, the horse sings that it is going to beat the crab. 13

 

The phenomenon is used by a number of intellectuals to criticise the anti-obscenities campaign launched in January which led to the closure of many sites, restraining a little further, freedom of expression by Chinese on the net. 12

 


TRILLION DOLLAR BAILOUT

 

The video game Trillion Dollar Bailout challenges net users to save the American economy. The player has a virtual 1000 billion dollar budget. He can help the poorest and those who have lost their homes. Punish those benefiting from the crisis. But also save certain companies from bankruptcy. 15

 
 


HOMELESS ON WEB

 

Tim is 37 years old. He is homeless. A web marketing agency has just created a site to raise funds and help the homeless. The site lets net users donate by credit card or make promises of donations.  Coffee, doughnuts, even karate lessons. Tim offers advice on survival for the homeless and also talks about his plans to have a family. 19

 
 
 
 

 

Date created : 2009-03-04

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