Summits

program

Human Rights

Welcome with Hillel Neuer

International lawyer, writer and Executive Director of UN Watch Hillel Neuer gives the opening address at the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. Full Remarks Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Hillel Neuer. I am the executive director of United Nations Watch. On behalf of the 25

Venezuela

Opening Address with Luis Almagro

Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States and former Foreign Minister of Uruguay, addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On speaking out for human rights: “There is no gray area when it comes to fundamental freedoms.”

Moderator

Fighting Authoritarianism with Javier El-Hage

Javier El-Hage, chief legal officer of the Human Rights Foundation, addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On learning the importance of liberty: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots

Turkey

The Pen and the Sword with Asli Erdoğan

Asli Erdoğan, renowned Turkish novelist imprisoned for more than four months following the summer 2016 coup attempt, addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On repression in Turkey before and after the coup: “I still have burn marks

Cuba

Fighting for Cuba with Guillermo Fariñas Hernández

Cuban Psychologist and journalist, Guillermo Fariñas Hernández, who has endured 23 hunger strikes and 11 years in prison for his defiance of the Cuban regime, addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On lack of democracy in Cuba:

Zimbabwe

Imprisoned for Praying with Pastor Evan Mawarire

Zimbabwean pro-democracy dissident and protest leader Pastor Evan Mawarire addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On starting #ThisFlag movement for change in Zimbabwe: “The mantra of #ThisFlag was, if we cannot cause the politician to change, then

Vietnam

Time’s up for Autocracy with Effy Nguyen

Nguyen Trung Trong Nghia, otherwise known as “Effy Nguyen“, 22-year-old Vietnamese video blogger and son of detained Vietnamese human rights defender and pastor, addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On being a political prisoner in Vietnam: “During

Turkey

“We The Journalists” with Yavuz Baydar

Yavuz Baydar, Editor-in-Chief of Ahval, a Turkish independent online news and podcasts site, addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the threat to journalism:  “We the journalists are more than ever before alienated, demonized, targeted, threatened, forced

Pakistan

Journalists under attack: the Case of Pakistan with Taha Siddiqui

Pakistani journalist and social media activist, Taha Siddiqui, who narrowly escaped a recent abduction attempt, addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On attacks on journalists in Pakistan: “To a visitor, it may seem that the media in

China

China After Liu Xiabo with Yang Jianli

Chinese dissident and former political prisoner Yang Jianli addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On China’s harassment of human rights activists: “In mid- January 2018, a Beijing–based human rights lawyer, Yu Wensheng, while walking his son to

Hong Kong

Abducted by China with Lam Wing-kee

Bookseller Lam Wing-kee, abducted by Chinese authorities for selling politically sensitive books in Hong Kong, addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On Chinese persecution of Hong Kong booksellers: “From October to December 2015, shareholders and staff members

Tibet

Risking Everything for Tibet with Golog Jigme

Golog Jigme, Tibetan monk and human rights activist jailed and tortured by China for making 2008 documentary “Leaving Fear Behind,” addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On being tortured: “It isn’t possible to share all the torture

Iraq

The Girl Who Escaped ISIS with Farida Abbas Khalaf

Full Transcript Moderator: Good day to you all, my name is Jonny Gould. I am British radio and television broadcaster and journalist and today we are going to relate the story of Farida Abbas Khalaf, a Yazidi girl, from a village called Kocho in the Sinjar mountains in northern Iraq.

Democratic Republic of Congo

2018 International Women’s Rights Award with Julienne Lusenge

Congolese activist Julienne Lusenge who fights rape as a weapon of war is awarded the 2018 Women’s Rights Award before addressing the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On protracted war in the Democratic Republic of Cong (DRC): “Before

Venezuela

Why We Have to Fight Together with María-Alejandra Aristeguieta-Álvarez

María Alejandra Aristeguieta, Ambassador-designate in Switzerland of Venezuela interim President Juan Guaido, addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On her father’s arrest:  “I normally work along with this Summit and I bring people and testimonies of victims

Venezuela

Escaping Arrest in Venezuela with Antonio Ledezma

Antonio Ledezma, Venezuelan opposition leader and political prisoner who escaped in November 2017, addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On being an opposition leader in Venezuela: “In January 2014 we took to the streets and a wrote

Panel

Does Venezuela Deserve to be on the UN Human Rights Council? with Irwin Cotler, Antonio Ledezma, Luis Almagro, María-Alejandra Aristeguieta-Álvarez

Luis Almagro, María-Alejandra Aristeguieta-Álvarez, Irwin Cotler and Antonio Ledezma address the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. Full Transcript María-Alejandra Aristeguieta-Álvarez: I’m going to translate a few things for Mr. Cotler and some other things for Antonio. In this section, I have six questions: three general questions, one

Uganda

Equal rights: Decriminalizing homosexuality in Uganda with Kasha Jacqueline

Ugandan LGBT activist and founder and director of Freedom and Roam Uganda, Kasha Jacqueline, addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On being openly gay in Uganda: “Our struggle needs a face because we want people to know

Iran

Iran: The 2018 Protests with Maryam Nayeb Yazdi

Human rights activist Maryam Nayeb Yazdi, founder of Persian2English.com, a website documenting Iranian human rights violations and co-founder of Oslo Women’s Rights Initiative, prepares to address the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the recent protests in Iran:

Iran

Achieving Non-Violent Change in Iran with Maziar Bahari

Journalist and filmmaker Maziar Bahari, who was jailed and tortured by Iran, addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the recent protests in Iran: “The most surprising aspect of these protests was not the fact that people

Iran

Iran: Forced to Flee with Maryam Malekpour

Maryam Malekpour, sister of Saeed Malekpour, Iranian developer serving life sentence in Evin prison on spurious charges, addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On Iran’s abduction and imprisonment of Saeed Malekpour: “Our nightmare began on October

North Korea

Tortured in North Korea with Fred and Cindy Warmbier

Fred and Cindy Warmbier, parents of Otto Warmbier who was tortured in North Korea, discuss with Hillel Neuer at the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. Full Transcript Hillel Neuer: I’m joined on the stage by Fred and Cindy Warmbier, and they’re here because of their son, Otto.

North Korea

Surviving the North Korean Gulag with Kenneth Bae

Kenneth Bae, survivor of North Korean gulag and longest-held American prisoner in North Korea, addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On being arrested and tortured by North Korea: “On November 3rd, 2012, I was arrested by North

Russia

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

Human Rights

Summit Wrap-up with Irwin Cotler

Irwin Cotler, Former Canadian Minister of Justice, MP and advocate for political prisoners, addresses the 10th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. Summarising the work of the Geneva Summit: “This inspiring Geneva Summit has paid tribute to the commitment and courage

Speakers

Luis Almagro

Secretary General of the Organization of American States, former Foreign Minister of Uruguay

Kenneth Bae

Survivor of North Korean gulag, longest-held American prisoner

Maziar Bahari

Iranian-Canadian journalist, filmmaker and human rights activist

Yavuz Baydar

Turkish journalist who won the 2014 European Press Prize for fighting censorship in Turkey

William Browder

Hedge fund manager who lead successful campaign to adopt Magnitsky Act, a U.S. law sanctioning Russian oligarchs

Irwin Cotler

International Chair of Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, former Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada

Asli Erdoğan

Turkish novelist, political prisoner who was released in December 2016

Yang Jianli

Chinese dissident, former political prisoner, Tiananmen Square massacre survivor and President of Initiatives for China

Antonio Ledezma

Venezuelan opposition leader, political prisoner who escaped in November 2017

Julienne Lusenge

Leading women’s rights champion fighting rape as a weapon of war in eastern Congo, president of Female Solidarity for Integrated Peace and Development

Maryam Malekpour

Sister of Saeed Malekpour, Iranian developer serving a life sentence in Evin prison on spurious charges.

Evan Mawarire

Zimbabwean protest leader, arrested six times and tortured for his civil rights work

News

Press releases

Geneva Summit Recognized as McGill Awards Honorary Doctorate to Hillel Neuer

MONTREAL, June 5, 2018 – McGill University today recognized the important work of the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy when it awarded its highest honor to its founding chair, Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch. In its citation, McGill recognized the Geneva Summit as “a

Media Hits

10th Geneva Summit: In the News

Media Mentions of the 2018 Geneva Summit For #GS18 videos, photos, transcripts, quotes and more, click here Wall Street Journal op-ed on the Geneva Summit by speaker Maryam Nayab Yazdi: Life in an Iranian Dungeon for Being a Tech Expert CNN interview with Geneva Summit speaker Bill Browder, leader of

Press releases

Human Rights Heroes Address UN Rights Summit

Human Rights Heroes Address UN Rights Summit Dissidents spotlight abuses in Russia, Iran, Cuba, Turkey, Zimbabwe China, Pakistan, Congo, North Korea, Venezuela, Vietnam – Women’s Rights Award to Congolese activist combating rape                 – Courage Award to Russian dissident twice poisoned for defying Putin Above: Antonio Ledezma,