Amnesty International cited a case on March 7, when three members of the Morgan Tsvangirai-led faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) were ordered by intelligence officers to take down election posters.
According to Amnesty, the officials forced the opposition supporters to chew the posters and swallow them.
For those living in democracies like the US or India, such repression of free speech is unimaginable. Indeed, it may be tempting, in the light of such news, to view the daily complaints we libertarians make about infringements of freedom in the United States as somewhat flimsy. To me, however, this serves as a reminder about how important and precious our freedoms are, and the need to fight constantly to prevent them from getting eroded. As I’ve noted previously, once a certain level of freedom becomes unacceptable, the bar is lowered and the next act of censorship is not only easier but also more extreme. News such as those coming from Zimbabwe or China should not make us complacent but instead remind us of the importance of our vigil.