Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Missing, before action

Rumors are swirling that a Saudi dissident has disappeared before a planned protests. I say rumors because the report remains unconfirmed. It wouldn't be the first time a dissident disappeared, although I would think (of regimes that have not already fallen or in the midst of rebellion (Libya)) this would be more likely in, say, Yemen or Syria.

Foreign Policy reports the Chinese are taking stern action to prevent the spread of the revolution contagion:
In the last two weeks, in several cities, police have criminally detained at least six activists for "endangering state security" and at least five others without formal charges. Police have raided the residences of at least ten individuals, confiscating laptops, computers, cell phones, and books. More than 100 individuals told my organization, Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), that they had been questioned, threatened, put under house arrest, or forced to go on police-escorted "tourism" outings in recent days. Additionally, one activist was detained in a mental hospital in Anhui, and one lawyer was severely beaten by unidentified men on his way to a demonstration in Guangzhou.
One thing is clear: Compared with its counterparts in the Middle East, China's authoritarian government holds a much tighter and more sophisticated grip on political dissent.
Read it all.

Another thing seems clear: China did not provide Gaddafi with that sophisticated grip, because the Chinese didn't ever anticipate he'd need it. How else can you explain the risks China took in Libya?



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