December 28, 2009

Too Long for Quote of the Day

The spirit of Sharansky lives, even though it is so unfashionable in America today that even I am becoming sheepish. Here's the WSJ Ed Page today:

In Iran and China, Christmas weekend brought two inspiring examples of the high price that men and women are still willing to pay in the eternal struggle for political freedom.

In Beijing, the Chinese Communists ignored the protests of more than a dozen countries and sentenced 53-year-old literary critic Liu Xiaobo to 11 years in prison for the crime of peacefully agitating for democracy. His verdict came after a two-hour, closed-door trial Wednesday from which diplomats, his wife and his chosen lawyer were barred.

"When he decides to do something, he doesn't regret it,'' said his wife, Liu Xia, who was allowed to speak to her husband for 10 minutes after he learned his fate. "He said he hopes to be the last person punished for practicing freedom of expression" in China. No wonder Chinese officials are so afraid of Mr. Liu, who wields the power of the unbreakable individual spirit.

Meanwhile, in Tehran, democratic protestors continued to risk their lives and freedom by going into the streets despite an increasingly brutal government crackdown. On Sunday, security forces opened fire on demonstrators in the College Square neighborhood, killing at least four and injuring dozens, according to witnesses and opposition Web sites. The nephew of opposition leader and former presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi was among the dead.

It's impossible to know when these freedom fighters will realize their democratic goals, but they deserve our admiration and support.

Freedom on the March Posted by John Kranz at December 28, 2009 11:32 AM

Yes, we are kindred spirits are we not?

Posted by: johngalt at December 28, 2009 1:08 PM

For those interested, this is what Liu was arrested for. That was about a year ago. I wonder why they even need a trial - they have not had a problem detaining him for a year.

Posted by: T. Greer at December 28, 2009 9:19 PM

This is the government Thomas Friedman so admires, tg. Sure they can detain a political prisoner for a year wuthout trial -- but the government is empowered to make people use CFLs!

Posted by: jk at December 29, 2009 10:15 AM | What do you think? [3]