Friday, November 10, 2006

Shirin Ebadi, Iranian lawyer and human rights activist

In the introduction to my speech, I spoke of human rights as a guarantor of freedom, justice and peace. If human rights fail to be manifested in codified laws or put into effect by states, then, as rendered in the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human beings will be left with no choice other than staging a "rebellion against tyranny and oppression".

A human being divested of all dignity, a human being deprived of human rights, a human being gripped by starvation, a human being beaten by famine, war and illness, a humiliated human being and a plundered human being is not in any position or state to recover the rights he or she has lost.

If the 21st century wishes to free itself from the cycle of violence, acts of terror and war, and avoid repetition of the experience of the 20th century - that most disaster-ridden century of humankind, there is no other way except by understanding and putting into practice every human right for all mankind, irrespective of race, gender, faith, nationality or social status.

Shirin Ebadi
from her Nobel Lecture , Oslo 2003

Her book, Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope .

Thanks to Sidestepping Real as the source.


wandering-woman said...

Thanks for posting this.

Made me think of Mary Robinson, tha last line--putting into practice. Everybody's pro human rights of you ask them, right? Even Bush. Robinsin said the aim of human rights was, in engineering terms "to move beyond the design and drawing-board phase, to move beyond thinking and talking about the foundations stones - to laying those foundation stones, inch by inch, together.”
They both talk about it in a ay that appeals to the results' oriented American in me.....don't just say it , do it.

woman wandering said...

I thought she was quite quite marvellous ... will hunt down her book one day.

Meanwhile I'm absolutely loving 'Reading Lolita in Tehran'.