Women threaten to riot over Chinese harassment

LEADERS of an international women's forum threatened riots and boycotts yesterday if the Chinese government failed to end surveillance and harassment of delegates. Separately, a senior American official warned Peking that it was making the UN World Conference on Women, opening tomorrow, "extremely difficult".

The Chinese tactics have overshadowed the arrival in China of the US First Lady, Hillary Clinton, who is due to address the governmental meeting on Tuesday and visit the forum the next day.

Irene Santiago, the forum's executive director, gave the Chinese until noon today to agree to stop censorship and surveillance within the 42- acre site at Huairou, an hour's drive from Peking.

Salamo Fulivai, the forum committee member for the Asia-Pacific area, added that if the Chinese failed to respond, she would ask delegates: "Do you want to cancel? Do you want to boycott? Do you want to riot?" A total of 23,500 delegates are attending the forum, which runs in tandem with the UN conference.

Chinese public security officials have intimidated exiled Tibetans, human rights activists and some foreign journalists attending the forum. Hundreds of plainclothes security officials are positioned within the forum site to photograph targeted delegates and anyone who meets them. Rooms and luggage have been searched, videotapes confiscated, and middle- of-the-night checks made on hotel rooms. Disabled delegates have also complained of surveillance after yesterday organising a protest about lack of access to venues.

As Mrs Santiago was meeting the authorities yesterday, a workshop run by exiled Tibetans was abandoned after more than half the seats were occupied by the official China-backed Tibetan delegation, who started shouting and barracking.

The row in Huairou is also threatening to disrupt the governmental conference. Timothy Wirth, the US Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs, called on the UN Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, to take action to stop intrusive surveillance by China and restrictions on freedom of speech. He said he was being blatantly watched himself.

Britain has lodged a protest about the failure of the Chinese to provide the promised shuttle bus service between Huairou and Peking, seen as another attempt to isolate the forum.

New Forbidden City, page 14

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Sport
Floyd Mayweather will relinquish his five world titles after beating Manny Pacquiao
boxing
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living