Reason I am not in Jail like other Chinese Dissidents..
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Awaiting a Democratic Hong Kong
I was asked a really interesting question today:
So, Zhang has basically been in detainment all year? What did he do so different from you?
Because I live in Hong Kong.
The difference is not what they have done, but my geographic difference. The difference is one very thin border, a concept called SAR (Special Adminstrative Region) and a mini constitution called "The Basic Law" that rules it, which states that Hong Kong and China is "One Country Two Systems."
Which means, although we are in the same country, Hong Kong Rens remains protected with free speech, rule of law and the right to due process for 50 years after the handover from Britain (2046)..
That's all it is. The difference between those people and me, why I can go see a movie, have a drink with my friends, buy some clothes and do all the things most people take for granted every day while thinking and saying the things I say and think is:
Rights to Free Speech.
Pretty worthy cause to fight for no?
Yes. Keep fighting.
I don't know if you heard, but the US is looking more and more like China. Specifically, one of our courts ruled yesterday that the President can hold someone in jail without trial...indefinitely.
God help us all.
Posted by: tim fong | Saturday, September 10, 2005 at 10:33 AM
I think it's a worldwide trend, with 9/11 as the excuse. The UK already has effective unlimited detention without charge of "terrorist suspects", although there is technically a time limit (which the police is lobbying to extend to 3 months). Western leaders are really losing it if they are starting to think it's a good idea to emulate their former cold war enemies. It's fascinating (if you're an alien and not living here) to see how few applicable civil rights remain today.
Posted by: Bromgrev | Sunday, September 11, 2005 at 01:58 AM
So how do I get one of these gmail invites?
Posted by: Bromgrev | Sunday, September 11, 2005 at 11:51 PM
I applaud your fortitude but add a note of caution. Rights are guaranteed ultimately by the threat of violence. I'm not sure of the exact legal framework in Hong Kong but what ever it is, I would not guarantee the perpetual benevolence of the ultimate guarantor of statutory rights, the Chinese state.
I'd hate to not be able to read Glutter any more.
I lived in a country where we were supposedly guaranteed similar rights, until the government felt threatened and felt it needed to resort to other means to perpetuate the status quo. This meant that people disappeared, including personal friends. Some returned, some didn't. I'm not saying this is the situation that you would face in Hong Kong but at some point if the movement that you are supporting is successful, it may come to pass. Let's hope not.
Posted by: Rob | Monday, September 12, 2005 at 08:12 AM
bromgrev - I just sent a gmail invite to your email address
Yan - you're in a unique position do do this. I think a lot of people appreciate your time and effort re free speech advocacy. It's interesting for me learn about from the other side of the world, as well. Thanks.
Posted by: tom | Wednesday, September 14, 2005 at 08:53 AM