The heroes of free speech and democracy

The heroes of free speech and democracy

: In three repressed nations — China, Vietnam, and Iran — we see regimes trying and trying again to shut down free speech on the Internet and we also see heroes who refuse to be silenced.

: CHINA: The Washington Post tells the story today of Wu Wei’s Democracy and Freedom forum:

The authorities have shut down, blocked, hacked or otherwise incapacitated Wu’s Web site 38 times in the past three years, repeatedly disrupting the discussions it hosts on political reform, human rights and other subjects the ruling Chinese Communist Party considers taboo. Each time the site has been closed, though, Wu and the friends who help him run it have found a way to open it again.

: VIETNAM: The regime has issued tough new rules on Internet use. Last week, I linked to this German report. Now see new rules requiring identification and tracking of online use at Internet cafes. There’s also this news that an Internet dissident sentenced to seven years in prison for merely speaking is appealing his sentence.

…Nguyen Vu Binh, will appeal against his sentence in the Supreme People’s Court in the capital, Hanoi.

Binh, 35, was sentenced last December after being found guilty of writing and exchanging information and materials that distorted the party and state policies.

The spokesman says foreign journalists will not be invited to the appeal trial.

: IRAN: I also linked the other day to Hoder’s report that the mullahs are once again trying to shut down ISPs to shut down speech. But that cat is long out of that bag. Says a comment on Hoder’s post:

… the Age of filtering the internet is over now :) … Sure they can do anything they want but the truth is they can not stop anyone! The only way that can stop people is unpluging every internet cable ;)

For every tyrant who would silence his citizens, there are countless citizens who will speak.