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Why South Africa Celebrates Human Rights Day on 21st March

International Human Rights Day is 10 December but, here is why South Africa celebrates on the 21 March. In 1960, 3 000 black South Africans went to protest in Sharpeville against the government and a specific restriction, passbooks also known as 'dompass' directly translated to "dumb pass" in Afrikaans.

"Even if you had a visitor in your house," remembers Lydia Mahabuke, "you have to report them to the police station. They will tell you how long your visitor can stay."

[source: CBS News]

What was supposed to be a non-violent protest resulted in the apartheid government's usual tactics which was police brutality. When protestors showed up without their passbooks in front of the police station according to unjust law they were to be arrested instead the apartheid regime opened fire.

In just two minutes, police fired more than 1,300 bullets leaving sixty-nine people dead in the streets and 191 injured. To avoid civil unrest the police gave back the coffins to the families with the caskets closed, robbing them of that moment to say one last goodbye to their loved ones.

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