Arab Charter of Rights and Freedoms

ACRF – Version 0.2

with 2 comments

The Charter was produced by the amalgamation of the following three documents:
UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
US Bill of Rights

This or a similar Charter of Rights and Freedoms should be put to national referendum BEFORE a Constitution is drawn up for the state. The authors of the Constitution will be bound to the Articles of this Charter.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms deals with fundamental human rights of the Person, while a Constitution deals with the structure and composition of the State.

Comments leading to the improvement of this document or otherwise are welcome.

Arab Charter of Rights and Freedoms
(Charter, Release 0.8)

Whereas all human beings are created equal in dignity and rights, an individual is entitled to universal human rights and freedoms as follows:

Article 1. Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms – This Arab Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms, as noted herein, of all Arabs, citizens, and residents of Arab states equally.

Article 2. Fundamental Freedoms – Every person has the following inalienable fundamental freedoms:
(a) Freedom of speech;
(b) Freedom of and from religion;
(c) Freedom of conscience, thought, belief, and opinion;
(d) Freedom of expression, criticism, communication, and mass publishing;
(e) Freedom of the press;
(f) Freedom of and from association;
(g) Freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(h) Freedom to privately practice and observe one’s religion alone or in community with others, or to change one’s religion or belief.

Article 3. Separation of Mosque and State –
(a) Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that the legitimate powers of the state concerns actions only, and not opinions – the state shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof – and the mosque shall not interfere in, or exercise influence on the conduct of the state – thus building a wall of separation between Mosque and State.
(b) Religious parties, religious assemblies, or members of the clergy are prohibited to participate in political activity or in profit making activities.

Article 4. Life, Liberty and Security of Person – Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

Article 5. Equality before and under Law and Equal Protection and Benefit of Law – Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law and is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, political or other opinion, property, or other status.

Article 6. Rights Guaranteed Equally to Sexes – Notwithstanding anything in this Charter, the rights and freedoms referred to in it are guaranteed equally to male and female persons.

Article 7. Right to Privacy and Quiet Pursuit of Happiness
(a) No person shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, or to his right for the quiet pursuit of happiness;
(b) Except for public or historic figures, no private person shall be subject to attacks upon his honour and reputation; and
(c) A person has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 8. Detention or Imprisonment – A person has the right not to be arbitrarily searched, detained, imprisoned, or exiled.

Article 9. Arrest or Detention – A person has the right on arrest or detention
(a) to be informed promptly of the reasons thereof;
(b) to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and
(c) to have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.

Article 10. Proceedings in Criminal and Penal Matters – Any person charged with an offence has the right
(a) to be informed without unreasonable delay of the specific offence;
(b) to be tried publicly within a reasonable time;
(c) not to be compelled to be a witness in proceedings against that person in respect of the offence;
(d) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal;
(e) not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause;
(f) except in the case of an offence under military law tried before a military tribunal, to the benefit of trial by jury where the maximum punishment for the offence is imprisonment for five years or a more severe punishment;
(g) not to be found guilty on account of any act or omission unless, at the time of the act or omission, it constituted an offence under national or international law or was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations;
(h) if finally acquitted of the offence, not to be tried for it again and, if finally found guilty and punished for the offence, not to be tried or punished for it again; and
(i) if found guilty of the offence and if the punishment for the offence has been varied between the time of commission and the time of sentencing, to the benefit of the lesser punishment.

Article 11. Treatment or Punishment – A person has the right not to be subjected to torture or any cruel, inhuman, degrading or unusual treatment or punishment.

Article 12. Self-Incrimination – A witness who testifies in any proceedings has the right not to have any incriminating evidence so given used to incriminate that witness in any other proceedings, except in a prosecution for perjury or for the giving of contradictory evidence.

Article 13. Enforcement of Guaranteed Right and Freedoms / Exclusion of evidence bringing administration of justice into disrepute –
(a) Anyone whose rights or freedoms, as guaranteed by this Charter, have been infringed or denied may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain such remedy as the court considers appropriate and just in the circumstances;
(b) Where, in proceedings under subsection (a), a court concludes that evidence was obtained in a manner that infringed or denied any rights or freedoms guaranteed by this Charter, the evidence shall be excluded if it is established that, having regard to all the circumstances, the admission of it in the proceedings would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

Article 14. Rights to Nutrition, Education, Health, Housing and Social Security – Each person has the right to free and adequate nutritional intake, sixteen years of primary, secondary, and merit-based university education, health and medical care, minimum but adequate housing allowance, clothing, disability assistance, old age assistance, and social security to an adequate standard of living.

Article 15. Property, Market, and Competitive Rights –
(a) A person has the right to freely own property, including capital property competitively and without the creation of a monopoly, alone as well as in association with others;
(b) No person shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her property, or of income from the property, nor shall private property taken for public use without just compensation;
(c) No person shall be arbitrarily deprived from freely buying, selling or exchanging property, or otherwise participating or creating a market for the property; and
(d) A person has the right to compete with others, and no person shall be arbitrarily deprived from competition in the production, import, or export of goods, services, and information.

Article 16. Rights to Work and Rest –
(a) A person has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to reasonable protection against unemployment;
(b) A person who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration, has the right to equal pay for equal work, and without any discrimination; and
(c) A person has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 17. Mobility Rights – Every citizen has the right to enter, remain, leave, and is free to move or reside within the borders of his or her state.

Article 18. Self-Determination and Democratic Rights –
(a) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of the State and its government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures, after a reasonable period of free, open, and unfettered campaigning; no public monies may be used to influence the outcome of a vote;
(b) A person has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives;
(c) No person may remain in the same elected office more than two terms; and
(d) A person has the right of equal access to public service in his or her country.

Article 19. Limitation of Rights and Freedoms –
(a) Nothing in this Charter may be interpreted as implying for any State, group, community or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
(b) The rights and freedoms herein apply to a person, and this Charter may not be interpreted as bestowing said rights and freedoms to a State, group, or community.
(c) In the exercise of his or her rights and freedoms, a person 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 other persons.

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Written by Mohseni

July 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. @grafixel tweets:

    1) why refer to Arabs in particular? Note there are non-arab people in the arab world as well: Kurds, Amazigh … #ACRF

    2) As for secularism, most famous examples are french and turkish state. Might pay to have a look at their constitutions #ACRF

    3) German constitution establishes a court, where you can appeal against laws violating basic rights. I would suggest to go even further #ACRF

    4) Had a closer look at the german constitution now, which begins with a list of basic rights.2 paragraphs are barred against any changes #ACRF

    5) The first barred §1 declares that these basic rights are binding law and that the dignity of man must not be touched #ACRF

    6) The second barred §20 declares Germany a democracy, and each citizens _right to resist_ anyone trying to topple this constitution

    Mohseni

    July 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    • Hi @grafixel, these are very good points and I will update the ACRF to reflect your points. Or maybe you can suggest changes to the text. Thanks.

      Mohseni

      July 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm


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