and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(1949)--Article 19 states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers"
Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. The term "freedom of expression" is sometimes used synonymously but includes any act of seeking, receiving, and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.
Freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the UDHR states that "everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" and "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice". The version of Article 19 in the ICCPR later amends this by stating that the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary "[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others" or "[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals".
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought
, named after Soviet
scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov
, was established in December 1988 by the European Parliament
as a means to honour individuals or organisations who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights
and freedom of thought
. A shortlist of nominees is drawn up by the Foreign Affairs Committee
and the Development Committee
, with the winner announced in October. As of 2010, the prize is accompanied by a monetary award of EUR
50,000. The first prize was awarded jointly to South African Nelson Mandela
and Russian Anatoly Marchenko
. The most recent award, in 2011, was given to five representatives of the Arab Spring
, Ahmed al-Senussi
, Razan Zaitouneh
, Ali Farzat
, and Mohamed Bouazizi
--for their contributions to "historic changes in the Arab world
". The prize has also been awarded to different organisations throughout its history, the first being the Argentine Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo
(1992). The Sakharov Prize is usually awarded annually on or around 10 December, the day on which the United Nations General Assembly
ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
in 1948, also celebrated as Human Rights Day
Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1949)--Article 19 states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers"
George Orwell statue at the headquarters of the BBC. A defence of free speech in an open society, the wall behind the statue is inscribed with the words "If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear", words from George Orwell's proposed preface to Animal Farm (1945).
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