Margaret Scott

Emprisonner les messagers

WASHINGTON – Alors que l’influence de la Chine dans les affaires internationales se fait grandissante, le monde ne s’est jamais autant intéressé au genre de grande puissance qu’elle est en voie de devenir. Le mois prochain, lorsque le dissident chinois emprisonné Liu Xiaobo recevra son prix Nobel de la paix, l’attention se détournera des aspects les plus encourageants de ce que les dirigeants Chinois aiment à appeler « l’ascension » de leur pays pour se concentrer un peu plus sur la persistance des maltraitances infligées à ses citoyens les plus démonstratifs. Déjà, la réponse maladroite des dirigeants Chinois à cette récompense a fragilisé leur mission si chère – et si généreusement financée – de projection de la « puissance douce » chinoise à travers la planète.

Liu a remporté ce prix parce que son engagement de très longue date dans l’activisme politique le rend exceptionnel. Mais nous devrions nous intéresser tout autant à un autre activiste chinois emprisonné, dont la situation critique aux prises avec le système judiciaire chinois est aussi préoccupante que celle de Liu – et bien plus révélatrice des limites permissibles de la contestation.

Une cour de Pékin vient récemment de déclarer Zhao Lianhai, un ancien commercial dans la publicité âgé de 38 ans, coupable « d’incitation au soulèvement sur une question sociale populaire … pour perturber sérieusement l’ordre social », et l’a condamné à deux ans et demi de prison.

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