Nothing new under the sun
Some dictators may have fallen, but human-rights abuses continue
May 12th 2011 | OSLO | from the print edition
Tunisian plainclothes back in action突尼斯的便衣又开始行动了
THE world really can become a better place—that seemed to be the belief of the protesters who have thronged streets in the Middle East. Sadly, those who spoke this week at the Oslo Freedom Forum,a glittering gathering of veterans of human-rights struggles, instead attested to the wisdom of Ecclesiastes: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done.”
Take the impact of technology. Facebook and other social media services have created opportunities for dissidents and revolutionaries to organise and voice their opposition. But those in power have discovered that they, too, can use the internet, in their case to stifle freedom of speech. The dream of all dictators is to know as much about you as Google does, says Jacob Mchangama, a Danish human-rights lawyer.