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Upcoming events and current media coverage relating to sex work and sex workers.

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Beijing: In a new crackdown on online pornography, China has shut down 225 websites and other content sharing and social media sites, the government said.

More than 30,000 blog or microblog accounts were also closed during a campaign that started late last month, according to a statement released by the State Internet Information Office (SIIO).

Among the websites were several photo-sharing, video-sharing and gaming websites that were not registered with the government, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

Over 79,000 tips regarding more than 450 websites were received during the campaign, the statement said.

The SIIO, together with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the Ministry of Public Security, is investigating enterprises that illegally allow providers of obscene content to obtain Internet access, as well as people who run pornographic websites, according to the statement.

Beijing : At least 31 people were arrested Thursday in a city in east China for allegedly running a pornographic website that contained over 20,000 videos, one million pictures and 3,000 erotic articles, Xinhua reported.

The website's 27-year-old founder, surnamed Liu, is a disabled elementary school drop-out, police said.

The man set up the website -- named "SIS360 online entertainment" -- in September last year, by renting a web server in the US to dodge supervision of the cyber police, officials said in Nantong city in Jiangsu province.

Liu said he was hoping the porn business could help relieve his family's financial difficulties.

He taught himself about internet and English language skills, and managed to set up the website all by himself, police said.

Sex worker advocate beaten

An outspoken advocate for sex workers reopened her office Tuesday after it was trashed by eight men who punched and threatened her life last week.

Ye Haiyan, 37, is the founder of Chinese Women's Rights Workshops, an NGO that promotes sex workers' rights and helps raise awareness of HIV/AIDS.

Ye, who goes by the Internet alias "liumangyan," has long been a controversial figure speaking on behalf of sex workers.

Her office in Bobai county, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, was ransacked by eight unidentified men twice last week. Ye said she will never give up fighting for her cause.

"One of the men was carrying a 40-centimeter-long knife. Ye was cornered and a man wearing a cap punched her twice in the face, slapped her, and kicked her," said Wen Dao, a 22-year-old college student who was visiting Ye's office at the time of the attack.

"They didn't say why they were attacking. They also threatened to shut the office down for good," Wen told the Global Times.

Ye said the men did not look like gang members and she suspects that local authorities might have had a role in the attack.

"They have never liked the way I speak online and criticize them, and they might be embarrassed because I am able to focus people's attention on the plight of sex workers."

Ye has for years spoken and written about the poor conditions facing sex workers in rural areas and has called for the legalization of prostitution and a reduction in the fines that are often imposed on them.

Earlier this year, she was also threatened over the phone and told to shut her office.

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BEIJING, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The National Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal Publications Office on Thursday announced a new intellectual property rights campaign targeting sellers and printers of illegal publications.

The campaign will focus on Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Hebei, Henan and Gansu -- six provincial-level regions characterized by "active markets and obvious problems," according to Jiang Jianguo, a senior official with the office.

"During the crackdown, relevant local anti-illegal publications offices should spare no efforts in market inspections and case investigations, with strict punishments for Xerox service providers, kiosks and moving vendors that print or sell illegal publications," Jiang said at a meeting.

Last month, authorities in 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions destroyed more than 29 million copies of pirated publications and other illegally-produced documents in a move to show the country's resolution in the crackdown.

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BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese authorities have shut down 225 microblog accounts and punished the owners of 154 websites for spreading lewd content, in the latest effort to cleanse the Internet environment.

Among these sites, some that were set up without official approval have already been closed, and others, which are being operated with a license, were ordered to erase all obscene content, according to a statement released Monday by the State Internet Information Office.

Most of the microblogs that were deleted were from weibo.com and t.qq.com, two major Twitter-like services in the country.

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