The spirit of 1989 should be guiding Europe


Angela Merkel and European leaders must not lose their nerve. Tearing down walls is the solution.

Desperate families look West for safety and prosperity, ravaged by events beyond their control. They dream of freedom, democracy, a better life. Yet razor wire fences and walls stand in their way. There is no room at the inn.

For the East Germans of 1989 and the populations of the former Soviet Union, the solution was obvious: tear down the Iron Curtain. For the Syrian, Libyan and Eritrean refugees of today, the solution should be the same: tear down the walls.

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When sound is mightier than the sword

Biniam Simon is a softly spoken man, but his voice aims to bring down a dictatorship.

Biniam Simon

Broadcasting from an independent radio station in a quiet Parisian side street, Simon is a 43-year-old journalist in exile, a refugee of the east African country you’ve never heard of, don’t care about, but probably should: Eritrea.

Elections are repeatedly postponed, torture is widespread and Amnesty International believes at least 10,000 political prisoners have been locked up. The country’s press freedom ranking, 180th out of 180, puts it behind North Korea.

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