Free speech is at the heart of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted
and proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on Dec. 1948.
Its' preamble looks forwards to "the advent of a world in which human beings
shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want...as the
highest aspiration of the common people".
Journalists, wherever they work, are entitled to the protection of the Declaration,
which is specifically relevant to those attempting to report the truth in dangerous
Article 3 states: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."
Article 9 says: "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or
And Article 19, which has given its name to an international press freedom organization,
reads: "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."