Monday, April 30, 2012

How China blocks news of activist's escape

Beijing (CNN) -- A Chinese musician famous for playing a two-stringed fiddle, a 1994 Hollywood drama about two prison inmates, a United Airlines flight bound for Washington and CNN -- what do they have in common?

If you try to search "Abing," "the Shawshank Redemption," "UA898" and "CNN" on Sina Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, you receive this terse message: "According to relevant laws and policies, results are not displayed."

These terms have joined a fast-growing list of keywords blocked by Chinese censors as they try to prevent the public from obtaining news on a prominent human rights activist who recently escaped his more than 18 months of house arrest in eastern China.

Chen Guangcheng is now in the U.S. embassy in Beijing, and American and Chinese officials are scrambling to resolve his situation, his friends and supporters have said. In a video posted online Friday, the blind activist recounted the brutal treatment he and his family received during confinement. Read More