Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Should People Be Arrested for Opinions?

Anyone who visits reuters.com or whose local newspaper gets Reuters newsfeeds has probably heard of Liu Xiaobo, an activist who's been imprisoned apparently just for spouting political opinions in China, and Liu Xia, who's under house arrest, reportedly, just for being Liu Xiaobo's wife.

Although I've become wary of even Amnesty International petitions after learning that some people classified as "political prisoners" have done things other than speak and write their opinions, no one seems to be claiming that this couple have done anything that would justify arrest or imprisonment.

A petition being sent to the Chinese government and its embassies bears the name (and photograph) of Bishop Desmond Tutu, the once controversial Christian leader who's become iconic for my generation. Whether you want to sign any petition reported as sponsored by him, or just want to see how he's holding up, click here:

http://www.change.org/petitions/chinese-leader-xi-jinping-release-imprisoned-nobel-peace-prize-winner-liu-xiaobo-and-wife-liu-xia?alert_id=TtrYhZVLIi_zEXJgNEPHT&utm_campaign=14672&utm_medium=email&utm_source=action_alert

For what it's worth, I signed; the first few readers who click over will see why.