Wednesday, October 1, 2008

UNESCO and its problem with the free flow of ideas

Bradley R. Smith
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro CA 92143
Desk: 209 682 5327

01 October 2008

To: Abdul Waheed Khan
Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information
Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace

Dear Assistant Director-General:

We have been informed by the Communication and Information Sector's ((CIF) news service that following the publication of the Model Curricula for Journalism Education last year, UNESCO has created an interactive wiki platform to adapt it to teaching journalism in Arabic and French.

It is certainly welcome news that we are helping spread this important information to those who are restricted to reading French and Arabic. At the same time we have a suggestion: that the CIF Sector encourage a re-evaluation of this Wiki Journalism Education Curricula for those who live in English-speaking countries.

POINT: only today we are informed that Professor Fredrick Toben of Australia has been arrested at Heathrow airport in London on an EU warrant issued by Germany. Professor Toben is wanted by German authorities for questioning the truth of the Auschwitz weapons of mass destruction (“gas chambers”). He will appear before the City of Westminster Magistrate's Court in London where authorities will request he be extradited to Germany.

UNESCO states very clearly that “The right to freedom of opinion and expression is inscribed in number 19 of the 30 articles articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and stipulates the following: “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.”

Does Professor Toben not have the same rights as an Arabic or French speaking individual? What is the CIF position on this?

Has CIF stated in plain language who among us has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and who does not? If so, where can we read this parsing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Will CIF address the issue of Professor Fredrick Toben of Australia being arrested in England, where he faces extradition to Germany to face prison for asking a question about history?

Thank you very much for your attention.

Bradley R. Smith

The Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust, in solidarity with the UNESCO mandate to encourage the free flow of ideas, not only for those who represent privileged majorities, but for all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dr Töben is not and never has been a professor.