14 March 2018

South Africa: George Bizos - Human Rights Don't Stop At the Border


Veteran human rights lawyer and anti-apartheid activist George Bizos is the recipient of the inaugural George Bizos Human Rights Award, inaugurated by the Legal Resources Centre. This is his prepared speech, from which he sometimes strayed during its delivery. By GEORGE BIZOS.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to attend this event. I'm honoured and humbled to see so many familiar faces among this crowd, along with a few new faces. I know my reputation when it comes to speaking and I've been told to keep this brief... . I'll try my best.

In its Preamble, the Constitution of South Africa declares that "South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity".

I was not born in South Africa but in Greece in 1927. I came to South Africa as a refugee during the Nazi Occupation of Greece. My father and I and seven Allied soldiers from New Zealand left in the hope of initially reaching Crete; However, Crete was busy falling to Nazi Germany. Fortunately, we crossed the path of 16 British warships speeding to Crete to evacuate the Allied and Greek soldiers defending it. We were picked up and then...

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