Freedom of Information is a fundamental human right

There’s been some argy bargy about Hebdo and their publication. I wanted to refresh in boingers’ minds that the freedom of information, and hence expression, is the cornerstone on which all other rights were created, and all development of rights is based.

The UN made this clear:

In its very first session in 1946, before any human rights declarations or treaties had been adopted, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 59(I) stating “Freedom of information is a fundamental human right and … the touchstone of all the freedoms to which the United Nations is consecrated.”

Freedom of expression is essential in enabling democracy to work and public participation in decision-making. Citizens cannot exercise their right to vote effectively or take part in public decision-making if they do not have free access to information and ideas and are not able to express their views freely. Freedom of expression is thus not only important for individual dignity but also to participation, accountability and democracy. Violations of freedom of expression often go hand in hand with other violations, in particular the right to freedom of association and assembly.

Anyone wanting to take this right away from me, they better be ready to prise it from my cold, dead hands.

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