Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dictator du Jour Roundup

Well, not quite a complete roundup, since I'm saving Castro and Chavez for another day.

Continued thuggishness in Vietnam:

“In Vietnam, protections under the rule of law are denied. Police arrest and detain suspects without written warrants. Under Administrative Detention Decree 31/CP, people can be put under house arrest for two years without going before a judge. Trials of dissidents are closed to the public. Hundreds of religions and political prisoners are behind bars including 350 Montagnaids. Prison conditions are harsh. There are reports of torture and other mistreatment including beatings, kickings and electric shock.

Speech in Vietnam is restricted. There are 2,000 culture and information activities that are prohibited. Domestic media are censored and foreign radio stations are blocked. Vietnam’s Law on Publications bans publications that oppose the government, circulate “harmful” information, or spread “reactionary ideas.” Decree No. 56 imposes penalties for defaming the nation or revealing party secrets. Journalist Nguyen Vu Binh is serving a five-year sentence behind bars and journalist Pham Hong Sun a seven-year sentence.”
This is the best case scenario for Iraq if the defeatocrats have their way...

China continues to play the repression card against protestors:

“In Hunan, thousands of demonstrators protesting alleged corruption and collusion by officials were attacked by local police in Yongzhou on March 10. A student was killed and at least 60 protestors were injured, according to the latest reports. The authorities have sealed off the city, making it impossible
for independent observers to report on events there.

In a separate incident on March 11, police broke up a protest by approximately 1,000 villagers in Dongzhou in China’s Southern Guangdong province. The villagers, who have been involved in a long-standing land dispute with local officials, reported that they were attacked by large gangs of thugs wielding rocks and sticks. The police were called to the scene, but failed to take any measures against the attackers. More than 20 people have reportedly been injured. Dongzhou was the site of an earlier clash in December 2005, in which police shot and killed at least three protesters and sealed off the city. Authorities have set up checkpoints at the entry of the township.”

And believers are special targets:

“The province-by-province report shows that Zhejiang and Henan provinces, where the Protestant House Church movement is particularly strong, had the worst persecution against House churches in the past 12 months. 246 pastors and believers were arrested in 9 raids from January 2006 to December 2006, 3 churches were destroyed, 10 were sentenced to imprisonment, and many of the arrested were abused while detained. After the raid on March 13, 2006 in Wen County, two arrested Christian ladies, ages 72 and 21 respectively, were forced to stripe [sic] off their cloths during the interrogation. A disabled Pastor Li Gongshe was severely beaten breaking one of his ribs.”

And the Chinese are “expressing regret” that Treasury has decided to blacklist Banco Delta Asia, a bank thought to be used by the North Koreans as a money laundering operation. One wonders who else’s money is being “laundered” in a similar fashion, perhaps by the same bank.

It’s nice to know that American companies are making money by helping the Chinese government maintain it’s dictatorship by identifying dissidents. Thank goodness they’re not doing anything evil.

Of course, no update would be complete without Zimbabwe, and President for Life Mugabe. A pretty typical day’s work for his regime, arresting, beating, shooting people at an opposition rally, as well as beating the opposition leader within an inch of his life.

Kind of makes you appreciate living here in America, under the dictatorship of McChimpy BusHitler.

One potential way to deal with these folks is to start aggressively targeting the overseas financial transactions of the dictators, and freezing their assets. After all, poor Palestinian terrorist Arafat had an estate valued at $300 million or so, largely accumulated by looting aid intended for his subjects. It doesn’t take much imagination to believe that most of these thugs are stashing rainy day money in accounts outside of their country.

If there’s nothing much to be done with Mugabe, Chavez, Castro, etc., at least we could try to make sure that their extended families don’t cash in after they become deceased Presidents for Life.

Update (18 March 2007): Mugabe still at it; having opposition leaders beaten as they try to leave the country to get medical care. For injuries sustained from prior Mugabe beatings.