In this Internet age, all of us are everywhere, whether in person, via telephone, by e-mail or text message, or in pictures online.
Despite our connectedness, one of the world’s most famous people, China’s most prominent dissident, Liu Xiaobo, has vanished.
Liu was arrested Dec. 8, 2008, and sentenced to 11 years in prison for his role in the creation of Charter 08 , a human rights and democracy petition modeled on Charter 77, our manifesto for liberty under communist Czechoslovakia.
Charter 08 garnered worldwide attention and thousands of signatures inside China. But even the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize was not enough to bring Liu into the light, though his picture was on the front page of newspapers worldwide — save those in China.… Seguir leyendo »
It is hard to believe that it was more than 30 years ago that we, a group of 242 private citizens concerned about human rights in Czechoslovakia, came together to sign a manifesto called Charter 77. That document called on the Communist Party to respect human rights, and said clearly that we no longer wanted to live in fear of state repression.
Our disparate group included ex-Communists, Catholics, Protestants, workers, liberal intellectuals, artists and writers who came together to speak with one voice. We were united by our dissatisfaction with a regime that demanded acts of obedience on an almost daily basis: Shopkeepers were pressured to put up propaganda signs that read “Workers of the world, unite!” Schoolchildren, students and workers were compelled to march in May Day parades.… Seguir leyendo »