Stéphane Hessel – human rights champion dies at 95

2013 2013-02-28T17:37:55+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

Stephane Hessel, the best-selling French author, has died aged 95.

The writer who had been a member of the French Resistance, escaping from two concentration camps, helped to draw up the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and later worked as a diplomat.

His writing Time for Outrage, is widely credited with inspiring the Occupy Wall Street movement. At the age of 93, Hessel became possibly the oldest person to write a bestseller, notching up 4.5 million sales of the pamphlet

Asked during an interview that coincided with the 64th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, if the Declaration lived up to its promise, he said "we have come a very, very long way".

“ And the United Nations itself was still in the third year only of its existence. It had not yet fashioned the whole system of Organization which is doing a tremendously important work today. UN, UNESCO, it is ILO, it is WHO. All the organizations what they do about refugees, about human rights.”

Meanwhile, Human Rights chief Navi Pillay described Stéphane Hessel, as "one of the great champions of human rights".

In a statement she said ” Stéphane Hessel was a towering figure in the human rights world," adding that "His close involvement with the team who drafted the Universal Declaration is enough by itself to earn him a place of honour in global history. But he went on to do so much more, and kept contributing to the advancement of human rights well into his nineties."

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