Sep 5, 2008, 5:51 AM
All humans are born free and equal in the eyes of God, and it is against this backdrop that human rights are being championed.
Every human being shall live in dignity and without fear, have access to adequate decent food, water and health, have freedom from slavery, receive fair treatment under the law, and have shelter among other basic human needs.
Our argument is that some people have a different perception about human rights, viewing it as a western ideology.
This should not be the case, because human rights are rights that are given to people by God and must be upheld by all governments, institutions and persons.
In fact, it must be clear that human rights are not negotiable, since they have their origin in Allah’s commandments, including the fact that every person should be treated with respect and honour.
The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (also known as the Banjul Charter) is an international human rights instrument that is intended to promote and protect human rights and basic freedoms in the African continent.
Citizens of this great continent are being subjected to all forms of human rights violations, and impunity is rampant in many countries.
Disappearances, killings, torture, unlawful detention, discrimination and so on are the order of the day in many African countries.
All these are against the provisions of the Banjul Charter.
Human rights defenders are also seen as ‘troublemakers’ instead of being regarded as partners in development.
Freedom of assembly, speech and expression are all far-fetched dreams for citizens of many African countries.
Yet, we can take comfort from the fact that the recent developments in the Arab world should be an eye-opener to all those dictators who engage in infringing the rights of their people.
It is clear from what we see happening in today’s world that the day of reckoning will come, sooner or later!
deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.’’