Also featuring: Leaders of protest movements and dissidents from Iran, Ukraine, Turkey, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea, and more
GENEVA, Feb. 10, 2014 - The Hong Kong pro-democracy protests that have captured the world's attention will be spotlighted at the seat of the U.N. Human Rights Council, when two of its leaders -- Alex Chow and Lester Shum, president and vice-president of the Hong Kong Federation of Students -- will speak out in Geneva for the first time, joining top-name dissidents from Iran, Russia, North Korea, Turkey, Cuba, Venezuela and Ukraine, for the 7th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, on February 24, 2015.
The acclaimed annual conference is timed to take place in Geneva days before foreign ministers gather to open the 2015 U.N. Human Rights Council session, chaired this year by Germany.
"It's a focal point for dissidents worldwide," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, which for the seventh year in a row will be organizing the annual event together with a cross-regional coalition of 20 other human rights groups.
The global gathering is acclaimed as a one-stop opportunity to hear from and meet front-line human rights advocates, many of whom have personally suffered imprisonment and torture.
"The speakers’ compelling and vivid testimonies will seek to stir the conscience of the U.N. to address critical human rights situations around the world," said Neuer.
Subjects on the program include discrimination against women, jailing of journalists, prison camps, Internet freedom, religious intolerance, and the persecution of human rights defenders.
Videos of past speaker testimonies are available at www.genevasummit.org.
Admission to this year’s February 24, 2015 summit is free and open to the public, but registration is mandatory.
For accreditation, program and schedule information, visit www.genevasummit.org. The conference will also be available via live webcast.
7th Annual Geneva Summit
Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Speaker: Markus Loening, Chair of Human Rights Committee of Liberal International, former Human Rights Commissioner, Germany
10:00 Confronting Authoritarianism
Moderator: Jakub Klepal, Executive Director, Forum 2000
• Yavuz Baydar, Turkish journalist
• Mustafa Nayyem, Ukrainian MP, journalist, initiator of Maydan protests
• Maria Baronova, Russian human rights activist
• Tamara Suju, Venezuelan human rights lawyer
• Yeon-Mi Park, 21-year-old North Korean defector
11:15 Kidnapped by Boko Haram and ISIS
Moderator: Tom Gross, journalist
• Saa, Nigerian schoolgirl who escaped from Boko Haram
• Emmanuel Ogebe, International Human rights lawyer
• Pierre Torres, French Journalist held hostage by ISIS for 10 months
12:00 Pakistan: On Death Row for Blasphemy
Moderator: Philippe Robinet, CEO Editions Kero
Speaker: Ashiq Masih, Husband of Asia Bibi, on death row in Pakistan for blasphemy
12:30 Networking Lunch
14:00 Presentation of Geneva Summit Awards
• Women’s Rights Award to Masih Alinejad, Iranian freelance journalist
Presentation of Award: Geneva Summit partners
• Courage Award to Raif Badawi, Saudi blogger, recently condemned to 1,000 lashes
Presentation of Award: Ambassador Alfred Moses, Chair of UN Watch
To be accepted by Dr. Elham Manea, Professor at the University of Zurich
Video message by Ensaf Haidar, wife of Raif Badawi
14:45 Fighting Oppression, Defending Human Rights
Moderator: Ladan Boroumand, Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy in Iran, member of Steering Committee of World Movement for Democracy
• Dicki Chhoyang, Central Tibetan Administration
• Ibrahem Al-Idelbi, Syrian journalist and activist (video message)
• Il Lim, North Korean defector and former slave laborer
• Maria Corina Machado, Venezuelan opposition leader (video message), presented by Maria-Alejandra Aristeguieta, Iniciativas Por Venezuela
15:45 Can Communist Regimes Reform?
Part 1: The Case of China and the Hong Kong Protests for Democracy
Moderator: Yang Jianli, Chinese dissident, former political prisoner, survivor of Tiananmen Square massacre, president of Initiatives for China
• Alex Chow, Secretary General of Hong Kong Federation of Students
• Lester Shum, Deputy Secretary General of Hong Kong Federation of Students
Part 2: The Case of Cuba: Road to Reform?
Moderator: Amanda Alvarez, People in Need, Czech Republic
• Juan Francisco Sigler Amaya, Cuban human rights activist
• Manuel Cuesta Morua, Cuban dissident leader
17:00 Concluding Panel: The Future of Liberal Democracy
Moderator: Hillel Neuer, Executive Director, UN Watch
• Javier El-Hage, General Counsel, Human Rights Foundation
• Fouzia Elbayed, MP, Morocco, Member of Human Rights Committee of Liberal International
• Yang Jianli, Chinese dissident, former political prisoner, survivor of Tiananmen Square massacre, president of Initiatives for China
• Ladan Boroumand, Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy in Iran, member of Steering Committee of World Movement for Democracy
• Subhas Gujadhur, Director, Universal Rights Group
18:00 End of Summit