When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Geopolitics

Chinese Dissident's Suspicious Death Prompts 'I Will Not Commit Suicide' Campaign

Worldcrunch

CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY (Taiwan), VOA

TAIPEI – These are not the kind of words that typically go "viral."

Following the mysterious June 6 death in China of prominent dissident Li Wangyang, a growing number of Chinese human rights activists in China have been using Twitter and other microblog services to personally declare: "I will not commit suicide." The movement comes as suspicion swirls that Li was "made to commit suicide" by the Chinese authorities, reports the Taiwanese Central News Agency.

Li, a Tiananmen Square dissident, who had been jailed for 22 years before his release last year, died in a local hospital in Shaoyang City only a few days after he had accepted an interview with a Hong Kong journalist. Shaoyang Public Security said that Li had committed suicide by hanging, and quickly cremated his body on Saturday. This has provoked a huge outcry in particular in Hong Kong where 25,000 people took to the street Monday to protest and demand an investigation.

At the same time, the Chinese dissidents have promoted a movement around the online statement "I will not commit suicide," reports the China bureau of the Voice of America (VOA). Though it has spread on burgeoning Chinese social networks, the movement is getting scant attention in China's mainstream press.

According to the Central News Agency report, Xia Yieliang, a Chinese economist responded to the call immediately and posted his statement on Twitter and on other microblogs as follows, "My name is Xia Yieliang, I am cautious by nature and am optimistic. I am healthy and I have a strong faith. In the past, now or in the future, whatever I encounter, any disease, political persecution or hardship, I have never and will never resort to committing suicide as a solution. If I ever die in an unexpected way, it must have been arranged for me, this includes a car accident or drowning. Apart from this tyrannical regime, I have no enemy in this world. I hereby make this statement as proof."

The latest term "made to commit suicide" is a variation on the oft-cited concept of "made mad," where Chinese officials are suspected of silencing dissidents by sending them to psychiatric wards.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Geopolitics

How A Drone Strike Inside Iran Exposes The Regime's Vulnerability — On All Fronts

It is still not clear what was the exact target of an attack by three armed drones Saturday night on an arms factory in central Iran. But it comes as Tehran authorities appear increasingly vulnerable to both its foreign and domestic enemies, with more attacks increasingly likely.

Screenshot of one of the Saturday drone attacks arms factory in Isfahan, central Iran

One of the Saturday drone attacks arms factory in Isfahan, central Iran

Screenshot
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — It's the kind of incident that momentarily reveals the shadow wars that are part of the Middle East. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack by three armed drones Saturday night on an arms factory complex north of Isfahan in central Iran.

But the explosion was so strong that it set off a small earthquake. Iranian authorities have played down the damage, as we might expect, and claim to have shot down the drones.

Nevertheless, three armed drones reaching the center of Iran, buzzing right up to weapons factories, is anything but ordinary in light of recent events. Iran is at the crossroads of several crises: from the war in Ukraine where it's been supplying drones to Russia to its nuclear development arriving at the moment of truth; from regional wars of influence to the anti-government uprising of Iranian youth.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

That leaves us spoiled for choice when it comes to possible interpretations of this act of war against Iran, which likely is a precursor to plenty of others to follow.

Iranian authorities, in their comments, blame the United States and Israel for the aggression. These are the two usual suspects for Tehran, and it is not surprising that they are at the top of the list.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest