Clinton: Troubling Times for Activists

Is a new “iron curtain” lowering on democracies around the globe? Speaking in Krakow, Poland, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton described intolerant governments like a “steel vise” that is “slowly crushing civil society and the human spirit"—as social activists and advocates are being harassed, prosecuted, jailed, or killed internationally. Without these groups, she said, democracies are in jeopardy. Clinton singled out counties including Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Cuba, China, Iran, and Russia, among others. "Democracies don't fear their own people,” Clinton said. “They recognize that citizens must be free to come together, to advocate and agitate."