Dissidents to Oppose Russian Bid to Rejoin UNHRC

GENEVA, April 27, 2023 — Some of the world’s most prominent Russian dissidents will gather soon at the UN Human Rights Council for the first major event opposing Moscow’s recently-announced bid to rejoin the 47–nation body, from which it was removed last year on account of its gross violations in Ukraine.

The Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, organized by a cross-regional coalition of 25 human rights groups, will take place on May 17, 2023, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Those testifying on Russian war crimes and abuses will include:

• Evgenia Kara-Murza, Human rights activist, wife of jailed Russian prisoner of conscience and opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, who was just sentenced to 25 years in prison for “treason” after he protested the war on Ukraine

• Anastasia Shevchenko, First dissident convicted under Russia’s “undesirable organizations” law, profiled in Oscar-shortlisted film “Anastasia”

• Andrey Kurkov, Renowned Ukrainian novelist, author of “Diary of an Invasion” on Russia’s war

For the full list of Geneva Summit speakers, addressing numerous urgent human rights situations around the globe, please see our media kit.


For the 15th year in a row, the Geneva Summit for Human Rights will provide an essential platform to courageous activists from authoritarian countries across the globe.

The event draws a standing-room only audience of more than 800 participants — diplomats, UN officials, lawmakers, activists, and student leaders — along with international coverage in major media including CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, Le Monde and TIME magazine.

Admission to this year’s Geneva Summit is free and open to the public, but registration is mandatory. Register here.


Speakers are available for interviews prior to the event, and in person on the day of the event. For media inquiries or interview requests, please email media@genevasummit.org to speak with Pat Rose.


Geneva Summit 2023 Speakers:

Yang Jianli, President of Initiatives for China, former political prisoner

Peter Yang, Son of Guo Feixiong, imprisoned Chinese “barefoot lawyer” and civil rights activist

Dr. Gyal Lo, Academic expert on China’s mass use of boarding schools to eradicate Tibetan identity and culture

Frances Hui, First Hong Kong activist granted political asylum in the US, Director of We the Hong Kongers organization

Qelbinur Sidik, Uyghur activist, witness to Chinese reeducation camp atrocities, survivor of forced sterilization

Fadzayi Mahere, Constitutional lawyer and opposition spokesperson arrested repeatedly in Zimbabwe

Nila Ibrahimi, 15-year-old Hazara activist who narrowly escaped the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan

Shima Babaei, Activist imprisoned for removing hijab, daughter of forcibly disappeared dissident Ebrahim Babaei.

Darya Safai, Belgian MP fighting for rights of Iranian women

Hadrien Ghomi, French MP outspoken for victims of repression in Iran

Alireza Akhondi, Swedish MP campaigning to designate IRGC as terrorist entity

Ali Ehsassi, Chair of Foreign Affairs Committee, Canadian Parliament

Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uyghur Congress

Songmi Han, North Korean escapee and survivor of extreme poverty, oppression, and abandonment

Marie-Claire Kakpotia, Survivor and activist fighting to end Female Genital Mutilation

Nevşin Mengü, Turkish journalist dropped from CNN Turk after she criticized President Erdogan

Melissa Mahtani, Journalist, former CNN producer

Abraham Jiménez Enoa, Prominent Cuban journalist forced into exile, grandson of the bodyguard to Fidel Castro and Che Guevara

Hasler Iglesias, Venezuelan youth leader, went into hiding to escape arrest by the Maduro regime

Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of United Nations Watch, on behalf of the 25 NGO co-sponsors of the Geneva Summit

Javier El-Hage, Chief Legal and Policy Officer at Human Rights Foundation



Putin’s Propaganda with James Kirchick

James Kirchik, visiting fellow at the Center on the United States and Europe and the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution, addresses the 6th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks.   Full Remarks   James Kirchik: I turned on the

Human Rights

The Future of Russia: Resisting Putin From Moscow to Kyiv with Leonid Volkov

Chief of staff to imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny and co-founder of the Internet Protection Society, Leonid Volkov, addresses the 14th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy   Full Transcript Moderator: Let me introduce Leonid, whom we heard at the UN yesterday – we had a small taster


Presentation of Geneva Summit 2018 Courage Award with Vladimir Kara-Murza

Russian democracy dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza receives the Geneva Summit Courage Award at the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the commitment of Russians to human rights: “Russia is not usually the first country that comes to mind when


Rights in Russia with Lyubov Sobol

Lyubov Sobol, Russian lawyer, anti-corruption activist and leader of the pro-democracy movement, addresses the 12th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On her election candidacy: “This past summer I ran for election in the Moscow City Duma.” “Independent, democratically