Canadian and International Law

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Human Rights Violations – Freedom of Expression If individuals were asked to immediately list a few things that they could not imagine life without, many would instantly think of food, water, family, and shelter. However, equally important are the rights that humans must be provided with by the country in which they reside in. Even if one had all the things previously mentioned, they would not be very useful if one was not allowed to live by his/her wishes.

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Everyone is a rational being who deserves to be treated with dignity and a set of universal human rights that no one is exempt from, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability. Yet, all over the world, various countries are denying its citizens these rights, for baseless reasons. For example, some are violating Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It states that, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; including freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media – regardless of frontiers; orally, in writing, print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice. The exercise of the rights provided of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary: 1. For respect of the rights or reputations of others; and 2. For the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals,” (The United Nations). In particular, this essay will focus on the countries violating Article 19, as it is inhumane and immoral for journalists and the media to be living their lives in constant fear; Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, Germany, and Libya. An example of an Article 19 violation is that of journalist attacks by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Pakistan. The ISI is the military’s spy agency, whose officers had abducted and killed journalist Saleem Shahzad, in May of 2011. Amnesty International and many other human rights organizations have sent an open letter to Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, to punish those who have been attacking independent journalists. Shahzad was a correspondent for the Asia Times Online, and was abducted in broad daylight in Islamabad, the nation’s capital. His body was two days later with marks of torture. He had written articles about sensitive national security issues, including infiltration of the Pakistani military by Al-Qaeda, and the country’s relationship with the Taliban. Several months before his death, Shahzad had friends that he had received death threats from the ISI. Although the Pakistani government did set up a high-level investigation in 2011, related evidence has somehow disappeared,

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