On Human Rights


The Human Rights issue has occupied a significant position during the past decades of this century and in most cases has been given top priority in international agendas. These rights have become more crystallized. For instance economic rights, education and labour, housing, food, clothing and medication; all such rights that guarantee to a certain extent an appropriate life for mankind. Political rights and religious beliefs, the right of expression, organization, peaceful demonstrations and strikes, voting rights and equality for all citizens whether for the religious majority or minority, ethnic or national groups. Moreover, the rights of women and children, prisoners of war, civilians in occupied territories, political detainees, citizens under investigation or those sentenced to imprisonment, have all been defined in numerous agreements.

It is incumbent that an international constitution embrace these rights and promote the value of mankind appropriately particularly that all the countries in the world have endorsed these agreements and included them in their constitutions. However, according to reports by the International Human Rights Organization and current developments, the overwhelming majority of countries have violated these rights one way or another. In some cases, the economic wing has predominated over the political wing or vice versa. On the other hand, both wings may have been undermined thus thwarting human rights by oppression and tyranny.

In fact, the human rights issue has been manipulated by some countries as a means of political and economic pressure as well as blackmail against particular social systems. Certain Human Rights may have been abused in these countries yet the accusers also have a flagrant record in violating these rights. Thus their credibility is lost and the issue is used as a card played from time to time as a part of the cold war or the power struggle over certain regions.

Furthermore, those countries whose leaders raise their voices In defense of human rights have lost their credibility owing to their double standards. They attack those who oppose them, yet remain mute before all violations exercised by their friendly allies.

It is even worse when they justify or cover up or softly condemn such acts perpetrated by their allies and resort to the use of military and economic measures against their opponents for the same or even minor violations.

Such double standards undertaken by these countries against similar abuses expose those who allege their defense of human rights. They are not defending these international charters but their own interests using human rights as a pretext to attain their objectives that are not related to human rights.

The Human Rights Charter is the result of human endeavor world-wide. Its protection from those who speculate or abuse it necessitates the continuation of this endeavor in order to ensure its proper implementation.
All true democratic and progressive forces as well as local, regional, continental and international NGO's are required to mobilize international public opinion to protect human rights and ensure its implementation.

The United Nations is at the vanguard of all these forces as it is the legitimate formulator of this Charter. Thus it should adopt a single standard that should be implemented against all who violate or deviate from this Charter. Furthermore, the UN should be the sole party to take necessary deterrent measures for protecting and implementing the provisions of the Charter.

AAPSO firmly believes that mankind will only prosper when humanity has been safeguarded. Any true civilizational progress entails the political, economic and social elevation of man. Hence, the Organization has placed the Human Rights issue as a priority in its future strategy.

For this reason, it is necessary to hold or participate in seminars as well as conferences, and issue relevant statements as a contribution in the preparations of the World Conference on Human Rights that will be held in Vienna, June 1993. Consequently a meeting was held to discuss this issue by the Permanent Secretariat with the participation of prominent Egyptians concerned with human rights particularly Mr. Mohamed Fayek, Secretary-General of the Arab Human Rights Organization. The proceedings of this discussion are presented in this booklet containing the dimensions of the issue and ways and means that should be pursued.

We appeal to all, to endeavor for the cause of man in protection of his legitimate rights.

Dr. Fakhri Labib
Head of Information Section