„The manipulation of public opinion both by governments and corporate media, and the manufacturing of consent undermine the essence of democracy, which is genuine participation. The harassment, imprisonment and killing of human rights defenders, including journalists, in many countries shocks the conscience. But also certain aspects of the war on terrorism and the abuse of anti-terrorist legislation have significantly eroded human rights and fundamental freedoms. In a democratic society it is crucial for citizens to know whether their governments are acting constitutionally, or are engaged in policies that violate international law and human rights. It is their civic duty to protest against government secrecy and covers-up, against disproportionate surveillance, acts of intimidation and harassment, arbitrary arrests and defamation of human rights defenders, including whistleblowers as unpatriotic or even traitors, when in fact they are necessary defenders of the rule of law.“

Alfred de Zayas' comments to the remarks made by NGOs and States during the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council Session http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13713&LangID=E Comments by Alfred de Zayas, Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, following the Interactive Dialogue on the presentation of his thematic report.
2013

Alfred de Zayas photo
Alfred de Zayas174
American United Nations official 1947

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„Specific protection must be granted to human rights defenders and whistleblowers who have in some contexts been accused of being unpatriotic, whereas they perform, in reality, a democratic service to their countries and to the enjoyment of human rights of their compatriots.“

—  Alfred de Zayas American United Nations official 1947

Alfred de Zayas' Report to the United Nations Human Rights Council http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13704&LangID=E UN expert calls for concrete protection to support civil society voices, including ‘whistleblowers’.
2013

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„Societies based on human rights, democracy and the rule of law need strong anti-discrimination laws, which are properly applied, and policies to integrate minorities and protect their rights. We also need to tackle irresponsible political dialogue inciting people to hatred and prejudice.“

—  Thorbjørn Jagland Norwegian politician 1950

The Council of Europe member states have an obligation to protect LGBTI people http://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/the-council-of-europe-member-states-have-an-obligation-to-protect-lgbti-people, DC069(2017), Strasbourg, May 17, 2017.

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„I say RIGHTS, for such they have, undoubtedly, antecedent to all earthly government, — Rights, that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws — Rights, derived from the great Legislator of the universe.“

—  John Adams 2nd President of the United States 1735 - 1826

1760s, A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law (1765)
Contexto: The poor people, it is true, have been much less successful than the great. They have seldom found either leisure or opportunity to form a union and exert their strength; ignorant as they were of arts and letters, they have seldom been able to frame and support a regular opposition. This, however, has been known by the great to be the temper of mankind; and they have accordingly labored, in all ages, to wrest from the populace, as they are contemptuously called, the knowledge of their rights and wrongs, and the power to assert the former or redress the latter. I say RIGHTS, for such they have, undoubtedly, antecedent to all earthly government, — Rights, that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws — Rights, derived from the great Legislator of the universe.

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„America has never fought a war against a democracy, and our closest friends are governments that protect the rights of their citizens. No matter how callously defined, neither America's interests — nor the world's — are served by the denial of human aspirations.“

—  Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961

2009, Nobel Prize acceptance speech (December 2009)
Contexto: There has long been a tension between those who describe themselves as realists or idealists — a tension that suggests a stark choice between the narrow pursuit of interests or an endless campaign to impose our values around the world.
I reject these choices. I believe that peace is unstable where citizens are denied the right to speak freely or worship as they please; choose their own leaders or assemble without fear. Pent-up grievances fester, and the suppression of tribal and religious identity can lead to violence. We also know that the opposite is true. Only when Europe became free did it finally find peace. America has never fought a war against a democracy, and our closest friends are governments that protect the rights of their citizens. No matter how callously defined, neither America's interests — nor the world's — are served by the denial of human aspirations.

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„Both security and development ultimately depend on respect for human rights and the rule of law.“

—  Kofi Annan 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations 1938 - 2018

Truman Library address (2006)
Contexto: Both security and development ultimately depend on respect for human rights and the rule of law.
— Although increasingly interdependent, our world continues to be divided — not only by economic differences, but also by religion and culture. That is not in itself a problem. Throughout history, human life has been enriched by diversity, and different communities have learnt from each other. But, if our different communities are to live together in peace we must stress also what unites us: our common humanity, and our shared belief that human dignity and rights should be protected by law.

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