Human Rights

by Roberto Malini - translated by Glenys Robinson

Human rights,

bread of the world

buried laws,

codes of justice

laid aside.

Those who defend them

are watched and spied on

by the guardians of race,

of borders,

of public order

and their dogs.

Those who defend them

stand on the front line,

where Vengeance

stages trials,

fills prisons

and bloodies scaffolds.

(Every day

someone falls on the front line:

today it was the turn

of Salvator Muhindo,

human rights defender

from the Congo).

Human rights:

are scattered

on the air polluted by hatred

like oxygen

bearing life

like pollens of freedom.

Human rights,

we will set you free

a little more each day

so that the world

will not lose you

and become a hell

without even realising...

Milan, July 16, 2010

Roberto Malini is a poet, writer and activist. Together with Matteo Pegoraro and Dario Picciau he is at the centre of a FrontLine campaign
( ) opposing the persecution of human rights defenders.