The freedom of expression, universally acknowledged as both a fundamental and foundational
human right, is not only the cornerstone of democracy, but indispensable to a thriving civil
Indeed, the freedom of expression is considered the “foundational human right of the
The right to freedom of expression is protected by a multitude of regional and international
treaties, charters, and frameworks.
3 According to Article 19(2) of the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a formally binding legal treaty ratified by 165 nations that
echoes in key respects the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR):
Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include the
freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of
frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other
media of his choice.