Universal. Inviolable. Inalienable. These are the intrinsic attributes of basic human rights. They are universal because they are inherent in every human person, irrespective of race, color and creed. Inviolable they remain whereas they are essential accompaniments of the human person independent of time, place and circumstances. Inalienable they remain in the sense that no human person may be legitimately deprived of any basic human right.
The truth of the matter is based on natural law itself, human person, human dignity and human rights are what make every man, woman and child intrinsically inestimable in significance and invaluable in nature. In fact, the human person, his or her human dignity and human rights can be rightfully said and understood as a “three-in-one” reality. While they are really distinct in essence and pursuant implications, they are nevertheless so fundamentally and intimately linked that one necessarily immediately implies the other two. Exploiting the human person or trampling upon dignity or violating human rights is in effect one and the same abominable reality. Disdain for one of them is disdain for all three, in the same manner that respect for one of the three is respect for them
No human person is the creation of the State, no human dignity is the making of any government, just as no human right is the grant of any secular authority. To say it more bluntly, no public official irrespective of his or her immense wealth and great power, no despotic and dictatorial leader with all his or her command of the military with the latter’s deadly weaponry, no royalty dressed in silk and gold, is essentially over and above any single human person no matter how poor, weak and helpless he or she is.
It may be good to say bluntly to the State, to the government and to the secular power that human persons preceded all of them long before, just as human persons will still be around for a long while whey they are all gone for good. Human persons were the ones that in fact established and put them up. Human persons will also be eventually the ones who will dismantle and undo them. In the same way, human person will be the ones who will bury their proud and pretentious leaders, their feeling omnipotent and everlasting public leaders. This is one empirical and infallible lesson of human history.
There is one interesting and standing truth about those who dare dismiss the consideration due to the human person, the deference proper of human dignity and/or the respect for human rights. They are the very individuals who unconsciously demean their own selves, who strongly invite others to look down on them with contempt and ridicule. Sooner or later, they become victims of their own wrong doing. Thus it is that evil comes in full circle. How true is the saying that violent individuals usually die of violence.
And what can be said about those who order, cause or tolerate extrajudicial killings in the country? In this case, over and above human dignity and human rights, it is no less than human lives that are contemptuously terminated. This is the case when the above said evil coming in full circle acquires a distinct and special relevance.
10 December 2007