GENEVA, Dec. 10 – Sixty-three years ago today, at a special session in Paris, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Men and women around the world who are denied their basic human rights often seek to mark today’s anniversary by calling for freedom. Too often, their efforts are stymied.
Cuba is a prime example. To prevent a pro-democracy rally today, 200 people were temporarily detained by the Communist-led island’s security services. In a related development yesterday, hundreds of government devotees blocked the opposition group Ladies in White from marching in central Havana. Despite talk of reform, the reality is that Cuba remains a police state.
On this day, we pay tribute to Cuban dissidents Fidel Suarez Cruz and Bertha Antunez—along with other courageous champions of human rights fighting repressive governments in Iran, China, Syria, Burma, Sudan, Pakistan, Vietnam, Uganda and Zimbabwe—by featuring their voices below.
They and other activists gathered recently at the United Nations in New York to testify at the “We Have A Dream” human rights summit, organized by UN Watch together with an international coalition of 20 NGOs, held in parallel with Durban III and the opening of the General Assembly.
Our summit of dissidents concluded with a powerful declaration that rejected dictators’ “specious arguments to justify policies and practices of abuse and repression in the name of claimed exceptions to the universality of basic human rights.”
“Belonging to diverse faiths and cultures, and originating from all regions of the world, we, the authors of this Declaration, unequivocally reject such dishonest apologetics, which suit the interests of the despots, and not the interests, or ideas, of their peoples.”
“We assert that the writ of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights continues to run through all societies, and for all times. The talk of tyrants is refuted by the cries of prisoners—who, from the dungeons of Burma, China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Tibet, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, and elsewhere—demand justice and freedom on the basis of these universal laws and eternal truths…” Click for more