Monday, 18 April 2011

Declaration of Rights

By Deuce

I believe it is sensible to take stock of the need to question the book and sum up the basis for challenging a very public doubt-raising agenda, being sold for monetary gain by an ex policeman, convicted of perjury, Goncalo Amaral.

The basis of challenging such agenda’s, arises from the declaration of human rights. The source we are all bound by, as equal in assured protection. The three human rights that concern this blog are the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty, the right to privacy and the right to free speech. I have a personal fourth, but will cover that to wind up this article.

Let’s examine the bloggers covering the missing Madeleine topic found in various places on the Internet. Those who support Amaral’s thesis often quote from the files a comment which says the McCann’s lost the opportunity to prove their innocence.  I have even witnessed comments that suggest declaring the McCanns as being presumed innocent, does not mean they are, as if the presumption has an excuse to be ignored. This urge to reform the meaning of the presumption of  innocence, in such a manner,  contravenes the human right to privacy.  As normal people know, two wrongs don’t make a right especially when breaking one human right to uphold another.

Presumption of Innocence.

1.  Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Ok, from the above statement, the right to be presumed innocent is afforded primarily to those who have been charged, awaiting trial. Therefore as Kate and Gerry have never been charged of any crime, they are not just presumed innocent. They ARE innocent. But the essence of this human right affords them the same protection from false accusations.

The McCanns are innocent without doubt as confirmed by the law and democratic human rights. Anyone who suggests otherwise by public implication that they are guilty of a crime, are breaking the human right to privacy.

Right to Privacy.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, or to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Yes indeed, the McCanns daily receive interference with their privacy with attacks upon their honour and reputation from public comment boards, propaganda forums, Goncalo Amarals book and the more local group led by Anthony Bennett. If the McCanns had to deal with all of these attacks individually, they would be unfairly and overwhelmingly diverted from their campaign to find Madeleine. It is a sad and perverted agenda that some people choose to be involved in, that risk diverting the McCanns attention and priority of searching for their beloved daughter.

What about free speech? Amaral upholds the human right of free speech to excuse the publishing of his book, yet ignores the right to privacy and the fact of being innocent without any suspicion; even more profound than the right to be presumed innocent, alone.

Freedom of Expression.

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.

This right comes with responsibility. To directly contravene two other human rights in order to practice one is not responsible. But the law and the declaration of human rights protects us from irresponsible freedom of expression. Indeed we can rely upon the right to privacy. When freedom of expression is without doubt an attack on the honour, integrity and good name of innocent people, these victims have the right to the protection from the law against such interference and attacks.

Currently Goncalo is being challenged for his attacks on the McCanns integrity, good name and innocence, in the Portuguese justice system. There should be only one right outcome, we shall see as it does not bode well when the prosecutor who shelved the case suggested he considers a presumption of guilt needs to be proved innocent.

My personal addition to the list of human rights covered here, the right to life.

Right to Life.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

I think this right is important to remember. Especially in the absence of the missing whose fate remains unknown.  For Madeleine McCann, in her absence we must uphold the right to life on her behalf. We must never give up believing that Madeleine McCann can be found alive and well. Any public suggestion that she is dead as closure for any search is an attack on the human rights of Madeleine Beth McCann. People like Goncalo Amaral, Anthony Bennett and those who comment publicly on the Internet, will do well to remember this before exploiting the child’s name for their negative agenda’s.