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Freedom of Speech

Human Rights

“Congress shall make no law ...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment I

“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.” United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18.

 

“In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.” United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 29:2

“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.” United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12
 

Freedom of speech, including the right to dissent and critique, is a universal and inalienable right. This right does not extend to incitement of violence or advocacy of hatred based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or immutable personal characteristics.  Suppression of inconvenient data, censorship of unfavored non-violent viewpoints, and harassment, intimidation, and retaliation against dissenters or whistleblowers all are all violations of human rights. Civil dialogue in good faith among individuals of varying perspectives is necessary to functioning democracy.