Victims of Communism: Liu Xiaobo

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Liu Xiaobo, a writer and outspoken advocate for freedom of expression in Communist China, was honored by PEN yesterday with its 2009 Freedom to Write award. Liu has been "in and out of jail" since his active involvement in support of the Tienanmen Square protests nearly 20 years ago.

His most recent incarceration began nearly five months ago:

On December 8, 2008, Liu Xiaobo was arrested again, this time for his involvement in Charter 08, a declaration he co-authored calling for political and human rights reforms in his country. He has since been held under "residential surveillance" at an unknown location and is reportedly being investigated for "inciting subversion of state power."...

Liu was arrested in that foreign policy dead zone between President Obama's election and his inauguration, when the news was dominated by dire reports about the U.S. economy; China's leaders surely knew they could count on a few months of American indifference. But they must have been as delighted as human rights supporters were shocked when Hillary Clinton, in her first visit as Secretary of State in late February, not only did not publicly protest Liu Xiaobo's detention, but announced that human rights concerns would take a back seat to economic issues in the new administration.

In 2006, Liu wrote an essay calling the internet "God's present to China," recounting the many ways the network without borders has allowed Chinese dissidents to bypass the constraints of the Communist Chinese government's totalitarian rule:

With the censorship here, my essays can only be published overseas. Before using the computer, my handwritten essays were difficult to correct and the cost of sending them was high. To avoid the articles being intercepted, I often went from the west side of the city to the east side where I had a foreign friend who owned a fax machine.

The internet has made it easier to obtain information, contact the outside world and submit articles to overseas media. It is like a super-engine that makes my writing spring out of a well. The internet is an information channel that the Chinese dictators cannot fully censor, allowing people to speak and communicate, and it offers a platform for spontaneous organisation....

Chinese Christians say that although the Chinese lack any sense of religion, their God will not forsake the suffering Chinese people. The internet is God's present to China. It is the best tool for the Chinese people in their project to cast off slavery and strive for freedom.

I've read comments in recent days saying that Communism is just another ideology, just a competing way of organizing an economy, a failed system, but not evil per se. These people draw a moral equivalence between Communist countries and the West.

Total social control, even more than economic control, is the heart of Communism, and it has been under every Communist leader from Lenin to the present. However much economic freedom the Communist Chinese government allows, they still deny the fundamental freedoms enshrined in our Bill of Rights. There is no freedom of the press, no freedom of religion, no freedom of association. Any organization -- no matter how apolitical its purpose -- is viewed by the Communists as a potential rival that must be crushed. Say the wrong thing, worship in an unapproved place, form an organization without the Communist Party's approval and control, and you may be detained, beaten, tortured, possibly even killed.

Pray for Liu's release and act: PEN asks you to sign a petition to the Communist Chinese government asking for Liu Xiaobo's release.

Isn't the slogan "Free Liu Xiaobo" more worthy of T-shirt space than the symbol of the evil organization imprisoning him?

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3 Comments

Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

Communism is evil. I'll sign the petition.

Yogi Author Profile Page said:

I'm with Jeff. Communism is evil. Somehow we have made a deal with the devil, almost literally. Cheap Chinese goods seem to be smashing our domestic manufacturing capability.

Also, the main problem is the total absence of the rule of law. Which I also think could become a problem in this country.

Anca said:

In the end, communism is communism, and as long as they will lead the country, things will not change significantly.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 29, 2009 12:11 PM.

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