In UN Treasure Honors Persian Despot
, by Matthias Schulz, Spiegel Online International tells how the UN came to accept the idea that Cyrus the Great of Persia was a great humanitarian innovator. It started in 1971, in the days when Ayatollah Khomeini was in exile. Then shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, held a gala event in Iran to counteract considerable turmoil in his county, while at the same time his sister presented the UN in New York with a clay cylinder from Cyrus dated to 539 B.C. The Ayatollah disagreed about the achievements of Cyrus, but the shah said the document was an "ancient declaration of human rights."
The UN says that many still consider the document to be the first human rights document. The article argues that Cyrus was simply producing propaganda and so was the shah.
The article is online at: UN Treasure Honors Persian Despot. (Or read the UK Telegraph's
Cyrus cylinder's ancient bill of rights 'is just propaganda'.)
The article says there is a forged version of the cylinder online, but doesn't provide either the forged or an alternative translation. Jona Lendering has a translation on his site: The Cyrus Cylinder (2). Indeed, the article seems to repeat much of the information Jona has in his background article on the The Cyrus Cylinder. He offers a box of chocolates to the person who can tell him who is responsible for the fraudulent text.