Author: 303 Chinese dissidents/English translation Perry Link Published: December 10, 2008 Type: Statement
Charter 08 is a manifesto initially signed by over 350 Chinese intellectuals and human rights activists to promote political reform and democratization in the People's Republic of China. It was published on 10 December 2008, the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopting name and style from the anti-Soviet Charter 77 issued by dissidents in Czechoslovakia. Since its release, more than 10,000 people inside and outside of China have signed the charter.
Author: Jan Patocka, Vaclav Havel and Jiri Hajek Published: January 7, 1977 Type: Statement
The following manifesto first appeared in Western Europe in early January 1977. Within a few days Charter 77--as its anonymous authors called the document and the movement responsible for its appearance--had been translated into most major languages and had received attention throughout the world. Charter 77 soon became well known within Czechoslovakia as a result of Western radiobroadcasts. Charter 77 indicts the government for violations of human rights provisions in the nation's 1960 Constitution and in various treaties and covenants of which Czechoslovakia is a signatory. The translation presented here appeared in The Times of London on January 7, 1977, bearing a notation that it was an "authorized" translation. The notation indicated neither who had made nor who had authorized the translation.
Author: Hannah Arendt Published: 2003 Type: Book chapter
The Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation has published the Persian version of "Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship" in November 2007. Since it publication the piece has been read by thousands of Iranians and is debated among human rights and civil rights activists. Arendt's essay help Iranian citizens make sense of the political system under which they are living.
Author: Voltaire Published: March 10, 1763 Type: Book chapter
Published in 1763, Voltaire's Treatise on Tolerance, is one of the major Western writings on the necessity of acknowledging the natural right of freedom of conscience and protecting religious freedom. In 1762, Voltaire became aware of the execution of a French protestant man (Jean Calas), falsely accused of the murder of his son by the mob in the city of Toulouse. As a "human being" and "to some extent as a philosopher", Voltaire felt compelled to take action against a judicial crime dictated by religious prejudice. On the occasion of what has become the famous "affaire Calas", Voltaire launched what could be seen as the first modern human rights campaign in Europe, a successful campaign that succeeded in referring the case to a higher Court and having the guilty verdict overturned, and Jean Calas' memory rehabilitated. The Boroumand Foundation has translated 15 most important chapters of the Treatise on Tolerance into Persian, and made it available to Iranian human rights activists who could greatly benefit from the Thoughts and actions of the great French philosopher who is the forerunner of human rights activism in the world.