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Human Rights’ Black Summer

While democracies are questioning the validity of restrictive measures to combat a resistant virus, a tour of the world of human rights leads us to put these legitimate concerns into perspective. Indeed, we are witnessing a general decline in freedoms.

In Belarus, on our borders, the local satrap is now attacking young people and journalists, who are fed up with the lead cover thrown over this European country with Russia's blessing.

In Cuba, for the first time, the people are rebelling against the communist dictatorship, which has been imposed for too long and will not last much longer.

In Iran, people have to demonstrate to gain access to water, in Thailand to demand that the government fight the pandemic, in Algeria to have the right to express themselves, in Afghanistan to survive.

Meanwhile, Erdogan's Turkey continues to imprison its opponents and to illegally occupy half of Cyprus, multiplying provocations in a bid to defy democracy.

It is true that the Chinese Communist Party has definitively designated our democracies as its privileged adversaries and that Russia fears them above all because of their attraction and the obvious preference of its population, because systems are confiscated by a minority, while ours are framed by the majority.

Our duty is to stand by those who fight for their freedoms and dream of enjoying them as we do ours.

The inappropriate use of the term "human rights" (as if there could be "inhuman rights!") reflects the worrying trivialisation of a fundamental issue.

Human rights do not fit any adjective, least of all that of "human". They are the rights of the individual, an inalienable value whose protection our constitutions and the European treaties organise within the framework of laws debated in real parliaments.

They deserve a resolute commitment, a real propaganda policy, otherwise they could be challenged faster than expected.

The European Union and its member states should devote more strength and resources to this. Financing freedom is not that expensive; it is a question of will. The survival of our model of society depends on it.