Human Rights are not negotiable

Human Rights are not negotiable

By Hiba AlHayat Obeid


I shall remember this incident forever, as it almost belongs to a dehumanizing reality that is caused by reliance on policies of states and weakness of international


That is when I was watching a video broadcasted from Al-Rukban area on Jordanian- Syrian north-east border, showing a kid suffering and whining from illness.  This incident gave me a stroke as journalist and defender of human rights.

I had conflicting thoughts concerning what could I do with the documents within my control that confirm, despite the Jordanian government’s rebuttal, the child’s presence in Al-Rukban on the border, do I have to use them as scoop? Or to seek the endeavor of international organizations and the government to save the child’s life before the intensification of his pain?

In the news coverage the picture could be quite different from the publication of any other news, as the safety of a refugee and the impact of the news publication on him/her are more important than any scoop sought by many media throughout the Arab region and not only in Jordan.

However, I had to preserve impartiality as journalist and forget about scoop. So I started to follow up the case until I realized that the endeavors aiming at allowing the child to cross the borders to Jordan have been unsuccessful. Thus, I have decided to disclose, through the social media, the documented details about my connections regarding this case with relevant authorities, knowing that number of activists have interacted with this issue, specifically on Twitter.

This is not the first striking incident, as asylum cases become an essential part and priority of number of human rights defenders, under the repeated violations that were practiced against them, whether inadvertently or not, for political agendas that come at the expense of the refugee.

It is difficult to defend issues of asylum, in the presence of ideologies which are spread and promoted by the government among communities, blaming the Syrian refugees for government’s economic, political and social crisis.

This mean that a clash will definitely erupt between the defenders of human rights from one side, and the government and organizations from the other side. In addition to that, the defenders of human rights find themselves obliged to fight the hate speech which is promoted by the government’s policies.

The most important and old tool used against the defenders of human rights is that of working for “foreign agendas”

Defending and having faith in Human Rights are matters of utmost importance, as activists in that field are actually defending right to life for those who are experiencing painful reality that is imposed on them and those who are victims of “political games”

Rights are unabridged and they cannot be divided or customized according to our beliefs. Also, they are not mere slogans to be oft-vaunted in international arenas and public meetings.

We have the right to defend human rights because actually we end up with defending our own rights. Therefore, we need to defend human rights beyond the impacts of political agendas, traditional beliefs and customs, or even the arguments presented under the title of “security and safety”

The rights which are determined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and ensuring decent and free life for every human being are not negotiable.


Yes, everyone who is striving to protect and promote these rights will have to pay for it and face the consequences, but at the same time, it is our duty to confront all those who violate human rights, just because they are in power, in order to be able to live with pride.