“I am Cyrus, king of the world, great King, mighty King, King of Babylon, King of the Land of Sumer and Akkad, King of the four quarters, son of Cambyses, great King, King of Ashan, grandson of Cyrus, great King of Ashan, descendant of an unending royal line… When I, well disposed, entered Babylon, I set up the seat of domination in the royal palace amidst jubilation and rejoicing… My numerous troops moved about indisturbed in the midst of Babylon. I did not allow any to terrorise the land of Sumer and Akkad.. I lifted their unbecoming yoke.
Their dilapidated dwellings I restored. I put an end to their misfortunes…. From.. to the cities of Ashur, Sua, Eshnuna, the cities of Zamabn, Meurnu, Der, as far as the region of the land of Gutium, the holy cities beyond the Tigris, whose sanctuaries had been in ruins over a long period, the gods whose abode is in the midst of them I returned to their places and housed them in lasting abodes. I gathered together all their inhabitants and restores to them their dwellings…..”
In 1879 a brick-clay cylinder was found in Ur, Mesopotamia. Its cuneiform inscription, once deciphered, proved to be a declaration guaranteeing liberation of conquered people, issued by Cyrus the II known as Cyrus the Great, (590 b.C. – 529 b.C), founder of Achemenid dinasty, after his conquest of Babylon.
Cyrus Cylinder (539 b. C.) is now considered as the first human rights chart in the human history. From Babylon, the human right idea rapidly spread to India, Greece and finally Rome. Only more than a thousand years later, Magna Carta, a charter signed in 1215 by King John of England, established new individual rights.
Clauses of the Cylinder, exposed at the British Museum in London, although controversy debates, have been a basis for the first four articles of Human Rights Universal Declaration.