Cologne (dpa / lnw) – A giant in military and protective gear keeps the world’s mouth shut: the artist Jacques Tilly has clothing with a large sculpture in an action by Amnesty International in Cologne against attacks on freedom of expression in several countries. Nevertheless, the shouts get through, as an open mouth on the hands of the simple figure is supposed to symbolize. “Don’t let your mouth be banned,” was the encouragement, Tilly told the German Press Agency on Saturday. Below the threatening-looking figure, which is supposed to represent a mixture of soldier and policeman, the request “Raise your voice” can be seen.
The figure was part of an action by Amnesty International on Saturday in Cologne. According to the organizers, around 150 Amnesty activists and supporters of the organization from all over Germany took part on Roncalli Square near Cologne Cathedral. It calls for respect for human rights, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression worldwide. Human-sized letters were held up in the air.
“People who stand up for and remind people of the universal validity of human rights are being persecuted and threatened in more and more countries. Recent developments in Russia are just one example,” Amnesty International Germany Secretary-General Markus N. Beeko said in a statement. “Respect for freedom of information and freedom of expression and the necessary prosecution of human rights crimes and the protection of all those who campaign for them therefore need all our attention and solidarity,” he adds.
“I can’t do my job without freedom of expression,” Tilly said, according to an Amnesty International statement. This sculpture is also a solidarity action “for all the supposed satirists and journalists and people all over the world who cannot open their mouths or only under difficult circumstances.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220604-99-549166/3