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'Only Idiots Didn't Listen'


Herta Mueller -- avid radio listener

Herta Mueller -- avid radio listener

Romanian-born author Herta Mueller, who won the 2009 Nobel Prize for literature, grew up under dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. So when she visited the Frankfurt Book Fair last week, she offered her support to Chinese dissident writers Bei Ling and Zhong Weiguang, as "The Epoch Times" reports:

"I am happy to be able to somehow support them in one way or another. If I could use the [Nobel] prize to somehow offer them sanctuary.... I know, all dictatorships are alike in their dealings with human beings. Individuality is immaterial; no individual is permitted his or her own say."

Mueller also found time to speak up for the importance of free access to information:

A journalist from Radio Free Asia, which is banned in mainland China but very much appreciated there nonetheless, asks her whether or not she listened to Radio Free Europe in Romania. "I listened to Radio Free Europe several times a day, and those who did not do so were idiots."

-- Dan Wisniewski

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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