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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.

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Latest update : 2009-11-24

Web users back convicted Chinese web activist

In today's edition, web users are feeling angry about the conviction of a Chinese web activist being condemned, and California students are protesting against increasing fees.

China: web activist convicted

On Monday, Chinese activist, Huang Qi was sentenced to three years in prison. Found guilty of ‘illegal possession of State secrets, he was arrested last year after offering support to parents of children who died during the Sichuan earthquake in May 2008. 


On his website, he denounced acts of corruption by local authorities which he blamed for the poor quality of school buildings-their collapse during the quake brought about the death of 5,000 school children.


And while many net users such as this lawyer spoke out against the verdict…


…the web activist’s wife denounced a parody of justice in this online interview.
‘My husband’s right to defence was flouted. The prosecutor continually interrupted him during the trial. They showed no respect for the court’s procedures’.

Tan Zuoren, another activist, who was also investigating the subject, was judged in August. A hand-full of human rights militants attempted to go at the trial to testify in his favour. But as shown by this video, the authorities did all that was necessary to prevent this.

Meanwhile , the parents of children, who died in the earthquake continue to mobilise. They are supported by many net users, who recently created this documentary- broadcast online.

Angry students in California

Californian students are up in arms. Several thousand of them have been protesting since last week about the 32 % price hike in tuition fees. News widely commented on online.

Many amateur videos have appeared on share sites. Videos in which we see students occupying the campuses of several Universities, to emphasise the importance of affordable education.

The protests turned violent on more than one occasion. Several videos such as these, show clashes between students and police, who were called in to restore peace on the campuses. 



Students, who, like the authors of this list of demands, are ready to lengthen their fight indefinitely if their requests are not accepted. The aim being to prevent the price hike in tuition fees or even to abolish fees altogether in the future.

Meanwhile, this expected rise in tuition fees continues to concern the majority of Californian students. This young man explains that his family will have to tighten their belts once more and that he will have to take out further bank loans to continue his studies.

But for some, such as this blogger, good or bad, the measure is simply necessary. The Universities and the State of California are suffering from a chronic budget deficit and the authorities are now forced to make dramatic spendings cuts; particularly in the field of education.

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