China has charged yet another human rights activist with attempting to undermine the state by writing a poem urging citizens to defend their freedoms, according to the NY Times. The poem, “It’s Time” is translated, in part, as saying:
It’s time, Chinese people!
The square is ours,
The feet are ours,
It’s time to use our feet to go to the square and make a choice.
China has been notorious for detaining human rights activists who urge its people to speak up against the government. However, since 2008, when Liu Xiaobo was detained for helping write the Charter 08 democracy manifesto, the Chinese government has been ever more diligent about detaining activists.
The Chinese government cannot keep locking up its activists and giving them such harsh prison sentences because it will only cause more anguish and conviction amongst its people. The simple fact that they have been locking up activists for such an extensive time goes to show that the government knows it is doing something wrong (and not beneficial to its people) but it is unwilling to change. That is why these activists are being locked up. But at some point the Chinese people will rise up. They will say, “enough is enough. We want our rights that are inalienable to us as people and as human beings. And we will fight and defend our rights until we obtain them.”
China is a well-developed state when it comes to certain areas, such as productivity, economic stability and being debt free; however, when it comes to human rights and the rights of its citizens, China has a lot of catching up to do. The 2008 Olympics in China were meant to show the progress the country has made, but it only affirmed what we all feared: they have not progressed much. And it has only been reaffirmed with the imprisonment of many activists in China.
It is time for China to understand that it has to enter into the 21st century and allow its people to enjoy basic human rights.