Tag Archives: dissidents

Egyptian Dissident Open Letter To Obama

Ayman Nour, founder of the liberal Ghad Party, wrote an open letter to Barack Obama that began, “the writer of these lines is a man about your age who was, and still is, dreaming like you of change and reforms.. in our countries, legitimate dreams,all too often turn into horrifying nightmares.” He argues his main crime was entering his name to run against a president who has been in office for over 27 years and brooks no opposition to his rule. Nour asks Obama to intervene on his behalf and help secure his release. Since Nour was imprisoned the US government has constantly been urging his release.

In one sense, the Nour case underlines issues confronting any American president. Is it American policy to support regimes which violate basic human rights? Can the US intervene in the domestic affairs of other nations in the name of freedom of speech? Egypt is a time bomb waiting to explode because a virtual dictator refuses to allow freedom. What will happen if Mubarak continues his authoritarian way of ruling?

No One Wants To Protest Claims China!

Beijing authorities insist they have received 77 applications from people wishing to stage demonstrations but actually no one went through with a protest. For some strange reason voices of opposition who have held up banners or challenged Chinese authorities do not wish to avail themselves of an opportunity to legally stage a protest. Of course, several people who did come forth to apply for an application were imprisoned or sent on a trip to some distant locale in order to avoid any problem that might ensue from staging a demonstration in Beijing.

The farce of the so-called areas for official protest were never meant to be anything other than a means of identifying those who wanted to protest so their names could be recorded.

China Dissident Missing In Action

Teng Biao, a prominent human rights activist, is reported missing and most probably arrested by Chinese authorities who are cracking down on dissidents in preparation for the upcoming Olympics. Biao has been defending members of the Falun Gong practitioners and farmers fighting for their land. He was last seen on Thursday being bundled into a black car outside his home in Beijing. Biao was recently warned by the police he would be detained unless he stpped talking to foreign media and writing abut human rights abuses in his homeland. Shortly before being seized by the police, he told reporters for the Manchester Guardian that his passport had been seized, his phone bugged and emails checked by authorities.

Biao told reporters, “they told me I cannot accept any interview related to human rights and the Olympics. I said I cannot make such a promise. I have a right to speak. I’m not sure if they will arrest me tomorrow. but I feel no fear.” Friends say he was under extreme pressure and feared being charged with inciting subversion of state power which carries a sentence of several years in prison. Last month, Hu Ji, a friend of Biao, was arrested and will probably be charged with the crime of subversive behavior.

Visitors to the Olympics will behold the beauty of China, they will see new skyscrapers and modern stadiums, but they will not see the faces of those in prison who uphold democratic principles. They are the dissidents who are missing in action in the war for democracy.

Myanmar Activists Use Internet To Fight For Freedom

The new world of Internet activism is being used by Burmese dissidents to fight Burma’s corrupt and oppressive military junta. A Tokyo based group of overseas Burmese belonging to Burma Democratic Union, is drawing upon telephone communication vie cell phones with their comrades in Myanmar to broadcast a true version of conditions in their nation. “This is an editor from ‘Maykha Internet Radio.’ Can I talk to you,?” asked Lay lay, one of the editors who was speaking to a spokesperson for the National League For Democracy in Burma. Each night the program provides interviews inter-mixed with hard news about conditions in their country. Hisao Tanabe, founder of the People’s Forum on Burma operating in Japan, notes how opposition organizations based in Japan are getting out information regarding what really is happening in Myanmar. These groups enable activists still in Burma to communicate reality since the military junta will not allow even the semblance of free press in their nation.

Each day, political leaders are becoming increasingly aware of how the Internet or MySpace or Facebook are altering the scope and function of communication in the 21st century world. It becomes increasingly difficult for governments to cut off communication as alternative sources sprout up throughout the world. Will information disseminated by Burmese activists in Tokyo change what will happen in Burma? Most probably their information will not lead to the overthrow of the junta, but it may cause them to pause in carrying out death and destruction.

Brutal Burma Military Blasts Bully America

Myanmar’s brutal military government upped its attacks upon the United States for interfering in the internal affairs of its nation by claiming the Bush administration was attempting to impose its views on its government. “Recent protests in the country were created by the loudmouthed bully, using the exiled dissidents and traitors together with communists, internal and external anti-government destructionists” in order to cause turmoil within a peaceful nation. The author of the piece in the Myanmar language, Myanma Ahlin daily said the United States was attempting to recreate conditions of 1988 that resulted in the deaths of thousands of protestors.

George Bush has been accused of many things in his life, but claiming that he is working in cahoots with communists is certainly a new approach to making critical remarks about one of the most conservative presidents in history. For one of the few times during his administration, the American president is actually standing up for freedom and democracy. I believe this is one time Bush should feel proud to be insulted by the press.

Sudan Asylum Seekers In England Returned To Torture

Asylum seekers in England from the Sudan and Darfur are being returned to certain beatings and torture by the same intelligence figures who are sponsoring attacks upon the people of Darfur. The Aegis Trust, a charity campaigning against genocide in Darfur, has documentary evidence of people who were deported from England back to the Sudan only to be brutally assaulted by members of the Sudan intelligence. As one man stated: “They tied my legs and hung me upside down. They would leave me like that sometimes six or seven hours, sometimes all day.” The Aegis Trust has been smuggling out of the Sudan people who were deported from England.

England is the land which in the 1840s gave refuge to Karl Marx, a German revolutionary, and founder of communism. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the people of Great Britain have offered a warm welcome and refuge to those fleeing brutal dictatorships. It is shocking that the Gordon Brown government continues Tony Blair’s policy of returning dissidents to the horror of the Sudan. It is the Sudanese government which sponsors genocide in Darfur. Can anyone expect such a government to behave with decency and restraint towards individuals who sought asylum abroad?