Monday, April 14, 2008

Tieleman receives death threats for 24 hours column on China & Olympics; Vancouver Police investigating, say emails came from China

Threats originated in China


24 hours' opinion columnist Bill Tieleman received three death threats via e-mail, one of which read, "I must kill you and your family," over his April 8 column taking issue with China's human rights record.

"I just find it offensive that threatening a journalist is an appropriate way to deal with an opinion they disagree with," he said.

Vancouver police told Tieleman yesterday the messages were sent from the same e-mail account inside China.

In response, Tieleman, who has received hundreds of responses to his column, pointed out people's right to voice opinions in Canada is not as apparent in China.

"If you were sending very negative e-mails, and postings, and letters, in response to a columnist in a Chinese newspaper you would have authorities knocking at your door and possibly taking you away," he said.

Tung Chan, CEO of immigrant settlement agency SUCCESS, condemned the death threats received by Tieleman.

Still, Chan said pundits who enter the debate should be mindful of feelings of nationalism that newcomers from China have for their homeland.

"People have a different visceral reaction to those kinds of issues," Chan said of columns such as Tieleman's.

Tieleman argued any public debate, no matter its nature, should always remain civil.

"When it crosses the line into obscenity-filled e-mails and then death threats, there's no place for that in any democracy," he said. "It's regrettable."


- I can kill you. you are wait!!!!!!!! (sic).

- I am in CKNW, I am normal Chinese. I must kill you and your family.

- Kill you! you clean your neck (sic), enjoy your last day, just wait, you will pay for this!


Anonymous said...

Rumour has it Bill . . . The Chinese Consulate in Vancouver is collecting umbrellas for you.

Back in 1978, Gregori Markov a human-rights-journalist working in London was "accidently" poked by a poison firing umbrella.

The umbrella was a creation of the KGB wet-affairs labs in Moscow and was used by the Bulgarian secret service to "liquidate" the trouble-maker reporter Markov.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's embarrassing to be a member of the human race. Sorry to hear you have to deal with such unpleasant and difficult stuff Bill.

Anonymous said...

This sort of blows the idea that China is moving right along and heading for a government that doesn't shoot first and question later. So it isn't just the locals checking your site Bill. Death threats are a scary thing. Should anyone actually get fingured for such threats, the thugs who run the Chinese way of doing things might tell the idiots to cool down as it's sure not helping China's image. But if this sort of thing doesn't affect business interests I really don't see much getting done to control their emails. Strange that the Chinese Government can blank out the CBC but not their own radicals.. DL

Anonymous said...

It looked like Mr. Chan of SUCCESS was trying to excuse the use of death threats. He could have helped the issue by just saying unequivocably that death threats are repugnant - end of story. But I doubt he knows what unequivocable really means.

I hope people read about Sara Bongiorni and her family's boycott of China in her book A Year Without "Made in China"

BC Mary said...

Sincere sympathies, Bill, for such a rotten lousy situation.

Good on the RCMP for locating the source of those ugly threats.

Now let's see a stern rebuke addressed and hand-delivered to the Chinese Ambassador and signed by the Honourable Gordon Campbell.


Budd Campbell said...

Bill, coming on top of the looting of your office in retaliation for your coverage of the BC Rail trial this kind of thing must be a major source of stress. I suppose it's partly relieved by the idea that the originator is in China, but still I hope you're able to enjoy more or less normal days in spite of these cowardly threats.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see so many guys are still defending this ugly biased racist Bill Tieleman right here. You guys are so ignorant that you want to use your own ideology to judge something you have never experienced. How many of you know where Tibet is while shouting "free tibet"? How many of you know that US and other western countries are the major weapon suppliers to African countries and they are the real black hands responsible for all the suffering people in Africa? Let me tell you something Mr.Bill Tieleman, we don't give a damn about your biased opinion, please keep talking so we can enjoy your show. Our great nation will not stop progressing just because some little clowns like you feel "disagreed".
oh by the way Mr.Bill Tieleman, since you have been boycotting everything from South Africa, your wife must hate you for not buying her a De Beers diamond.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Mr.Bill Tieleman, you can choose to hide my comment, but you can never hide the truth!

Anonymous said...

Hey Bill . . . Why don't you call up the PCR's Vancouver Consulate and ask to talk to the "Chief of Station" (Intelligence & Security Service boss).

When you get him on the line ask him if he has any Type 67 Silenced Pistols in the consulate's diplomatic bag.

The Type 67 is a Chinese designed and made . . . single action, 7.65mm automatic-pistol that fires a sub-sonic round from a closed bolt and locked slide.

It is the favoured "liquidation" device of the People's Liberation Army's Special Forces and Security Services.

It is quite reliable, almost totally silent and usually very deadly at less than 20 meters.

It has been used to great success in various PRC executive actions in Asia and Afrika.


Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous,

If you're going to post hate messages at least take the time to read Bill's post properly. He said he boycotted South Africa IN THE PAST!!!!!! That means he boycotted the country when it was under apartheid. NOT ANYMORE!!!

And at least take the time to read all the discussions that have been going on in the responses to the previous posts.

China has also supplied weapons to Africa. I disapprove of that just as much as I disapprove of the 'West' (which is not some monolithic thing) supplying them with weapons.

I know where Tibet is on the map.

Each time you hurl insults at someone for expressing nothing more than an opinion (even if you disagree with the opinion) you demonstrate your unwillingness to take the time to calmly consider the issues. If this is how everyone responded to criticism then the world would have ended long ago.

This is a complicated situation, even if you want to pretend it's something simple. By reacting this way you only worsen the tension and you contribute nothing constructive.

Anonymous said...

Amazing! The Chinese Government in China blocks incoming internet messages and yet lets death threats out. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Turn over a rock and you never know what will bite you. The south Asian community has a lot of evil under their rocks. The murder of the Air India passengers, the murder of Mr. Hayer, the despicable display of 'murderers' etc. Could the Chinese 'criminals' now be taking a page out of the militant Sikh book of criminal conduct? And how the South Asian community could stand and watch the two alledged financers of the Air India crime walk in the latest parade in Surrey is beyond belief. Fear works its evil on those who stand and say nothing for those who commit the evil.

tinaz said...


This just shows you how reporters, such as yourself, are on the front line and obtain no protection for reporting the news.

The subject of Chinese politics is sensitive by virtue of how we in the West perceive things which is completely different than them. This is to say that while I do not in any way prescribe to Chinese politics, especially when it comes to Tibet, I am against trying to implement my beliefs unto other countries, for the simple reason that Canada has enough problems of its own that requires immediate attention. In fact, many other countries see Canada as being a country of hypocrites.

I am however sorry to hear that people would resort to death threats.

Tina Z

kootcoot said...

Bill, sorry to hear about the death threats, but you must admit that threats are better than murder attempts with no warning. Usually they are the output of desperate individuals with no ability to communicate (or kill anybody). Unfortunately there are very few other real journalists in the Lower Mainland so all the wing-nuts have mainly just you to terrorize with threats or break-ins. Are booby-traps legal and acceptable? It certainly is easy these days to at least have surveillance in your office that is almost impossible to detect, avoid or disable?

You've certainly stirred up a nest of scum with your thoughtful columns about China and the Olympics. As to Anon-0-Dunce who ended with "your wife must hate you for not buying her a De Beers diamond." If he got out more or read some, he would know that we (Canada) don't have to import "blood" soaked diamonds from anywhere in Africa, having become a major diamond producer (in the North) during the time he was learning to hate and apparently not much else.

As to:

"Still, Chan said pundits who enter the debate should be mindful of feelings of nationalism that newcomers from China have for their homeland."

As an immigrant myself, though not from China, I don't think immigrants in general are very "nationalistic" about the country they chose to leave, other than in a mawkish sentimental manner. A real nationalist for any country would choose to stay and enjoy the greatness of the great nation AND contribute to making it ever so much greater. It's like the old kid's joke about "Well if you love it so much why don't you marry it?" If (China, US, France, Columbia, you name it) is so great, why don't you live there?

The level/quality of criticism from self-claimed Chinese to these threads at Bill's give lie to the myth of ancient Chinese wisdom, that I tend to accept, but perhaps should re-consider.

Anonymous said...

I live in Richmond and also work with many Chinese-Canadians here. I can tell you that, in many cases, they have very little tolerance for any criticism of China or the Beijing regime (they usually cannot distinguish between gov't and nation) from any source.

Due to their relative inability with English, they generally rely on the local Chinese media (which generally just reproduces Beijing state media "news" feeds) for most of their information. They often don't understand why someone like Bill Tieleman should even have the right to "insult" (criticise) China and view such commentaries as "unfair" or "racist" (to quote some of my co-workers).

Don't be fooled by the claims by some Chinese that they just want "fairness" and "balance" re: China. I have been shocked by blatantly racist comments re: Tibetans from many of my co-workers.

Such Chinese clearly believe that China is a "great" country and, in mnay ways, is better than Canada, which also begs the question of why they moved here in the first place. It surely wasn't to be exposed to open debate and a free media.

Keep up your brave work, Bill!

PS I also agree with other comments re: Tung Chan from SUCCESS. He is either unable or unwilling to defend free expression in Canada to his own community and the general public.

Anonymous said...

Bill Tieleman, I support you!
I am a Canadian citizen, I am from Beijing. I am also an victim of Olympic Game. My home is under forced Enviction just because of Olympic Game. What you said is right, Human rights in China is more important than Olympic game. My email address is:

Anonymous said...

Bill, are you telling the truth?
these days, some people would do whatever or say whatever that they have to in order to demonize china.
why? they just dont feel comfortable to see china is getting higher and higher. they can not accept the fact that china is getting to rank the same level with these white western countries.

and bill, how much do you know about tibet? do you know what kind of life the people in tibet lived during the time when dalai lama was there? ask him what kind of rights the people had at that time?

i just dont believe what you said.
only god know what is going on on your mind. believe me, you are nobody, china does notgive a fuck about you. it does not matter how angry you are, china is getting better and better.

Anonymous said...

Whew! Have just read the comments.
Think Sun Media Corp. should pay for the same protection as Kim Bolan has. Also think Immigration
Canada insist on the ability to speak either English or French
before allowing folks to come here.
We now have 129 gangs in Metro Vancouver courtesy of someone?
Stay safe.

Anonymous said...

Aggressive Chinese posters here claim that "we don't give a damn about your biased opinion" and "china does notgive a fuck about you" (sic) while they obviously monitor these writings closely and somehow always find time to attack each new article. Honesty seems to be in short supply among Chinese these days.

Anonymous said...

We have allowed our country to be taken over by so called visible minorities. Many are great people and welcome but their bretheren bring many of their problems with them. Many do not respect Canada. Many are here for the free healthcare and child benefits. We must stop granting citizenship after just 3 years. Immigrants must be made to wait
at least 25 years for citizenship, Canada Pension, Unemployment insurance, and healthcare benefits or noone will have these benefits in the future.

Anonymous said...

Better to ask immigrants "How can you benefit Canada?" than "How can Canada benefit you?". Our current approach has the wrong priorities.