English Reading Practice

Human Right Number 11:
We're Always Innocent Till Proven Guilty

1. Watch the video at the top of the page.

2. Read the story "We're Always Innocent Till Proven Guilty" just below it.

3. Do the exercise at the bottom of the page.

Here is the We're Always Innocent Till Proven Guilty video. You can watch it in your own language at www.youthforhumanrights.org. (Simply click the word "language" at the top of their homepage.)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes 30 basic rights that each person has, simply because he or she is human.

This is human right number 11 (the simplified version):

"11. We're Always Innocent Till Proven Guilty. Nobody should be blamed for doing something until it is proven. When people say we did a bad thing we have the right to show it is not true."

Now read the short story about this important human right.

We're Always Innocent Till Proven Guilty 

Justin is not happy when he is called to jury duty. He does not want to be a juror. He is too busy to go to court. He just wants to get his duty over with as soon as possible.

When Justin sees the accused person, he thinks that he must be guilty. The man looks guilty. He acts guilty. He sounds guilty. So, he must be guilty, right?

After a few hours, the jurors take a break. Justin overhears other jurors talk about the accused person's rights. He hears one of them say, "He is innocent until proven guilty."

Justin asks, "I hear that often, but what does that really mean?"

The other juror says, "It means that as far as we know, this man is innocent. We do not assume anything at this point. Just put yourself in his shoes. What if someone accuses you of something one day? You will want people to believe you are innocent!"

Justin thinks about it for a minute. "You are right," he says. I did not think about it that way. Thank you."

For the rest of the day, Justin thinks about this awesome human right. He promises himself to do his best as a juror. He promises to protect this man's human right. He is innocent until proven otherwise!

And now, practice:

Exercise 01

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