Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cuban dissidents Berta Soler and Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez address the Oslo Freedom Forum


2013 Oslo Freedom Forum Opens in Norway, Celebrating Five Years of “Challenging Power”

OSLO (May 14, 2013)—The 2013 Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF) opens today in Norway, bringing an unprecedented gathering of courageous rights defenders, artists, innovators, authors, entrepreneurs, journalists, and policymakers from across the globe. They unite in Oslo to exchange ideas on how best to challenge repression and promote human rights.

“Freedom is in decline around the world. There are more countries considered ‘not free’ or only ‘partly free’ than there were ten years ago. For the last five years, OFF has provided a platform for survivors of some of the worst abuses and grown to become an incubator for effective action against tyranny and injustice,” said OFF founder Thor Halvorssen. “This event has brought together some of the world’s greatest thinkers and doers to form an idea factory and networking in the struggle against arbitrary power. This year’s summit is in recognition of this community’s incredible struggles and inspiring achievements.”

A full schedule of events is available here. Conference programming will be streamed live in high-definition at www.oslofreedomforum.com, beginning at 9:30am CEST (3:30am EST).
The fifth annual event will begin with a session, The Asymmetric Activist, featuring Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, Magnitsky Bill campaigner Bill Browder, Bangladeshi child marriage abolitionist Arzina Begum, Liberty in North Korea president Hannah Song, and Tibetan prime minister Lobsang Sangay.

An interactive panel discussion will follow on Women Under Threat around the world, featuring Lebanese journalist Jenan Moussa, Congo activist Lee Ann De Reus, Egyptian social entrepreneur Soraya Bahgat, and Ghanaian-British journalist Afua Hirsch, moderated by BBC presenter Philippa Thomas. Viewers are welcome to participate in the panel discussion by following OFF on Twitter at @OsloFF and using hashtag #OsloFF to ask questions, or by emailing questions@oslofreedomforum.com.

Espen Barth Eide, the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, will also address the Forum. The day’s final two sessions—The Power of Media and The Instruments of Change—will feature Serbian media entrepreneur Sasa Vucinic, foreign affairs investigative journalist James Kirchick, Cuban independent journalist Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez, Palestinian journalist Asmaa al-Ghoul, abolitionist and photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair, Slate political and foreign affairs editor Will Dobson, Google Ideas product manager Justin Kosslyn, Malaysian democracy advocate and lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan, Afghan reporter Shakeela Abrahimkhil, and Serbian nonviolent resistance maverick Srdja Popovic.

Inquiries: please contact info@oslofreedomforum.com.

All 2013 OFF talks and panel discussions will be uploaded to www.oslofreedomforum.com beginning Monday, May 20.

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