a combat tour in the neo-Nazi Azov battalion before working for Radio Free
Europe's Belarus channel out of Prague, off an airplane in May, 2021, on charges
of inciting a political opposition (roughly the equivalent of sedition), the
world went crazy, accusing Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of
trampling on free speech. Protasevich is alive and well, living under house
arrest while awaiting trial.
When reports emerged that Gonzo Lira, a Chilean social media "influencer" who
resided in Kharkov, Ukraine, and who published online content critical of the
Ukrainian government, was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by the Kraken Unit,
part of the Azov battalion affiliated with the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU),
the West is silent.
Free speech isn't a one way street. To remain silent in the murder of Gonzo Lira
is to be complicit in his death, and the deaths of all journalists who pursue
the truth, even if it runs counter to the mainstream narrative. Critical
thinking should not be a death sentence. Unfortunately for Gonzo Lira, it seems