Friday, October 11, 2013
Journalists With No Voices
China is one of the many countries in this world that is criticized for its lack of and opposition toward human rights. With this pressure from other nations, including the United States, one would think that China would take steps to move toward creating more human rights for citizens, right?
Consecutively after the United States finished annual discussions (which featured human rights) with China, Chen Min, a Chinese journalist working for the Southern Weekens, as well as a human rights activist, was detained by authorities after sending an email stating that he would endure arrest after creating a petition calling for the release of Xu Zhiyong, a Chinese scholar who was previously detained for his efforts to “protest” against the ideologies of the Chinese government. Because of the ethical code that Chen has stood by for years, he felt it necessary to go through with his own arrest because he found it unfair that Xu Zhiyong was detained.
Personally, I have been raised to understand that I have my own voice and that I have the ability to speak openly and freely about the opinions that I formulate (even though there can be consequences for what I chose to say). I think it is a direct infringement of human rights that both Xu and Chen have been arrested and kept in custody for their acts to better (in my opinion) the lives of their fellow Chinese citizens and enrich them with their critiques of the government’s attempts to censor and keep tight reigns over the people in China. I think it is unfair and plain wrong that these people are being censored from their opinions and that they are being arrested for wanting to speak their own voices and enrich the knowledge of fellow citizens. I do understand that China is run very differently than the United States; however, I think the right to not be censored should be practiced more openly and freely around the world. I especially think that the Chinese government added stress to its ties with the United States, especially because Chen was detained the day following the conferences between the United States and China over human rights.