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70 Years of Human Rights

Press conference on the "Secular Week of Human Rights" on November 12 in the House of the Federal Press Conference

"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good," said Thomas Paine, leading pioneer of the idea for human rights. The press conference on the "Secular Week of Human Rights" on November 12, 2018, at the House of the Federal Press Conference explains the largely overlooked background of the UN Declaration of Human Rights as well as its current threats posed by Trump, Putin, Erdogan, & co. In addition, it examines the practical significance of human rights work by illuminating the fates of those who fled to Germany from political Islam.

Today human rights are threatened worldwide by the advance of nationalists and fundamentalists. For this reason, the "Secular Week of Human Rights" (with Richard Dawkins and Hamed Abdel-Samad, among others) commemorates the cosmopolitan stance underlying the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights". According to the organizers, a strong impulse of the "world civil society" is necessary today - as it was 70 years ago when the "World Citizen No. 1" Garry Davis, supported e.g. by Albert Einstein and Albert Camus, occupied the UN General Assembly in Paris and defended the idea of ONE humanity.

The press conference in the House of the Federal Press Conference will be attended by the following persons:

  • Mina Ahadi (Chairwoman of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims)
  • Rana Ahmad (author of the book "Frauen dürfen hier nicht träumen")
  • Dr. Carsten Frerk (social scientist and author, head of the Forschungsgruppe Weltanschauungen in Deutschland)
  • Stefan Paintner (Co-founder of the Atheist Refugee Relief)
  • Dr. Michael Schmidt-Salomon (philosopher and author, spokesman of the Giordano Bruno Stiftung)

At the press conference Michael Schmidt-Salomon will explain the causes of the "Secular Week of Human Rights" and the campaign "Weltbürger statt Reichsbürger!" ("World Citizens instead of Reich Citizens!"). In addition, he introduces the new gbs brochure "Die Menschenrechte" ("Human Rights"), which provides concise information on the often forgotten background of human rights and their current threat. The 24-page brochure is to be distributed widely in schools throughout the country, but also offers journalists valuable and previously widely unknown information (e.g. that the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" is largely owed to a famous science fiction author) for reports in anticipation of the 70th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights (December 10).

The association "Atheist Refugee Relief" demonstrates what cosmopolitan thinking means in practice. It specifically supports religion-free people who fled to Germany from political Islam and are also particularly at risk here. Mina Ahadi, Rana Ahmad, and Stefan Paintner were significantly involved in the founding of the Atheist Refugee Relief in Cologne and report on their experiences with overstrained German government agencies as well as with refugees who have to flee from refugees. Recently the association established an independent branch in Berlin, which will be presented by the author and social scientist Carsten Frerk.

The event at the House of the Federal Press Conference (Schiffbauerdamm 40, 10117 Berlin, Tagungszentrum) on November 12, 2018, starts at 10.00 am. Organizers are the Giordano Bruno Stiftung ( and the Atheist Refugee Relief ( We welcome everyone interested! Please register as early as possible for the press conference (either via this web form or via the e-mail address presse(AT) The invitation to the press conference is also available here as a pdf document. Further information on the "Secular Week of Human Rights" can be found at: Here you can download the German event flyer as a pdf document.