Defence of Human Dignity
Flavia Agnes, lawyer and activist for women rights, who will be honoured with a tree at the Garden of the Righteous of Milan in March, reflects about the situation of women victims of rape in India, underlining the uncertainty, the lack of protection and the social stigma they have to face after going through trials where, too often, the rapist manages to prevail.
A Soviet intellectual and dissident, he spent his life for the defense of human rights. In 1989, a few days before his death and thanks to his commitment, article 6 of the Constitution assigning the Soviet Communist Party the leading role in the Country was abolished, marking the end of the Communist regime.
A symbol of the 1943 revolt in the Warsaw Ghetto and leader of the Solidarnosc movement against Poland's Communist regime, after the coup of 1981 he was a prisoner of general Jaruzelski. Marek Edelman devoted his life to keeping the memory of those who fought to safeguard human dignity. He was an ethical reference point for thousands Polish youths.
On 11 November 2008 Adidjatou Mani Korau managed to get Niger fined by the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States for failing to apply anti-slavery legislation.
Defence of human dignity
against totalitarian tendencies
In Dentures, collection of Kolyma Tales, Varlam Shalamov told the protagonist, held in the gulag, addressed to the executioners who wanted to strip him of everything: "No, do not give up the soul."
This sentence contains the essence of the Righteous: Those who refuse to "sell their soul" in extreme situations, even with the fear to go in the field of victims and of no escape, in the face of persecution, hatred and discrimination.
The defense of human dignity is the defense of one’s own self, of their own moral integrity, even when he/she rescues another human being. For this we can say that it is just the gesture of one who safeguards the dignity of the victims with his own humanity. To paraphrase the famous words of the Talmud: "Whoever saves one’s life, saves the whole world", we can also say "he who saves himself saves the whole world," not defending his own life, but the soul, listening to the authentic voice of conscience .
In the gulag one could rarely assist and help another prisoner, but every day one could try to oppose the process of dehumanization lucidly put in motion by the perverse mechanism of the working field.