Tuesday, March 08, 2011

When History Catches Up With Authoritarianism

Rebiya Kadeer, President, World Uyghur Congress

The Huffington Post, March 7, 2011 10:43 AM
The swell of people power across the Middle East and North Africa in recent weeks has laid bare the human yearning for freedom from the injustices of authoritarian dictatorships. Across an entire region the calls for democracy and human rights have shown that oppressed peoples cannot indefinitely tolerate corrupt leaders who shore up power through fear and violence. Consequently, it is no surprise the Chinese government has cast a nervous glance at the outbreak of protests in a region rife with tyrannical rulers.

In his February 22 speech, Muammar Gaddafi invoked the brutal suppression of pro-democracy demonstrators on Tienanmen Square in 1989 by the People’s Liberation Army as a warning to his own people that he will not leave quietly. It should alarm the free world that the murderous actions of the Chinese state against its own citizens are now seen as a blueprint for establishing legitimacy of power.

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