From the BBC:
A prominent activist who publicised human rights abuses across China has been convicted of subversion and jailed for three-and-a-half years. Hu Jia, 34, was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power and the socialist system”, his lawyer said. He has long campaigned for the environment, religious freedom and for the rights of people with HIV and Aids.His sentence comes a day after a rights group accused China of a campaign to silence dissent ahead of the Olympics.
Raul Castro has allowed Cubans to own mobile phones, stay in hotels previously reserved to foreigners and buy microwaves and other previously prohibited by the state. 20 years ago we were witnessing the same kind of opening of markets in Malta (but Dr Pepper only came later because, alas, we could finally import cans – Farsons had stopped bottling the thing).
The Chinese have a weird sort of communism. Not only do they have mobile phones and microwaves but they actually are the market leaders in the manufacture and use of electronic luxuries. The leaders of the Communist Party do not see mobile phones as a threat per se. Unless of course you use the video application on your mobile to record Chinese military beating Tibetan monks. That is the point actually. It is not surprising that the biggest concern for the communists attempting to maintain their stranglehold on the country is information and who can spread it. Which is why in the last years we have heard of China’s clashes with the giants of the information highway and we hear more and more of internet activists being jailed for subversion.
While we express solidarity with such victims of opression by totalitarian states used to totalitarian measures for their own survival, J’accuse notes once again the importance and power of information in this day and age.
We blog… therefore we have (the force).