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Women Conferees Accuse Chinese of Harassment, Surveillance

September 2, 1995

HUAIROU, China (AP) _ Organizers of the international conference on women’s issues met with Chinese authorities today to protest harassment and the seizure of materials.

In a statement before the meeting, they cited reports of ``surveillance, threats to security, harassment and confiscation of video tapes,″ as well as ``lack of access for disabled participants.″

They said they wanted ``to make their concerns formally known and demand action.″

The charges were leveled by the NGO Forum on Women, a meeting of about 19,000 representatives of non-governmental organizations in tandem with the U.N.-sponsored Fourth World Conference on Women opening Monday in Beijing.

The statement did not give details and results of the meeting were not immediately available.

NGO officials say they have collected a list of complaints, most of them concerning human rights groups which have run afoul of Chinese authorities by trying to promote their causes at the forum, which began Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the forum’s free daily newspaper reappeared today after skipping its Friday edition because of what Chinese authorities said were problems at the printer.

However, Forum ’95 appeared without its four-page supplement, Terra Viva, which carried an article criticizing China’s one-child-per-family policy of curbing population growth.

Birgit Wiig, co-editor of the English-language paper, said the Chinese refused to let Forum ’95 include the supplement on grounds it was a separate paper and was unlicensed.

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