Speeches

Russia

Protesting Putin with Maria Baronova

Maria Baronova, Russian human rights activist, journalist and subject of “The Bolotnaya Case”, addresses the 7th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. Quotes: To Be Confirmed Full Remarks To Be Confirmed

Syria

Rebelling Against Assad with Ibrahim Al-Idelbi

Ibrahim Al-Idelbi, Syrian human rights activist active in the rebel North-West of the country, addresses the 7th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. Quotes: To Be Confirmed Full Remarks To Be Confirmed

Venezuela

A Message From Venezuela with Maria Corina Machado

Venezuelan opposition leader Maria Corina Machado addresses the 7th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. Quotes: To Be Confirmed Full Remarks To Be Confirmed

Morocco

After the Arab Spring with Fouzia Elbayed

Fouzia Elbayed, Moroccan women’s rights advocate and former Member of Parliament, addresses the 7th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. Quotes: To Be Confirmed Full Remarks To Be Confirmed

Russia

Protesting Against Putin with Polina Nemirovskaia

Polina Nemirovskaia, a seasoned human rights campaigner in Russia and active player in the political campaigns of Boris Nemtsov before his tragic addition to the list of high-profile political critics of President Vladimir Putin assassinated for their dissent, addresses the 8th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see

Russia

“Russia will be without Putin” with Zhanna Nemtsova

Zhanna Nemtsova, Russian activist and daughter of murdered opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, addresses the 9th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On a resurgent Russian authoritarianism: “The title of the panel, as you know, is “The Return of Authoritarianism”, and

The Maldives

Geneva Summit 2017 Courage Award with Mohamed Nasheed

Mohamed Nasheed, former President of the Maldives and Geneva Summit Courage Award winner, addresses the 9th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On his abuse by authorities in the Maldives:  “I’ve spent the good half of my adult life in

Democratic Republic of Congo

Voices for the Voiceless with Médard Mulangala

Médard Mulangala, a Congolese human rights activist and opposition leader, addresses the 9th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the DRC’s crossroads moment:  “This is a critical moment in the history of my country because, in the next few

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

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:

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:

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

Opening Address with James Kirchik

James Kirchik, journalist, author, and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the universality of human rights: “Don’t let anyone tell you that certain cultures are immune to democracy or individual

Moderator

The Struggle for Democracy in Latin America with Centa Rek

Centa Rek, Senior Legal and Policy Associate at the Human Rights Foundation, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On authoritarianism in Latin America:  “For over a decade now Latin America in general and more specifically countries like

Nicaragua

Nicaragua Cries Freedom with Felix Maradiaga

Felix Maradiaga, Nicaraguan opposition leader and human rights activist, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On human rights abuses in Nicaragua: “It was the case of the child Conrado Alvaro, who was shot in the neck as

Human Rights

How to Build a Safer World with Michael Levitt

Michael Levitt, Canadian MP and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the need for advocacy: “Unfortunately, we are seeing a resurgence of gross human rights violations around the word…And the

Burundi

Refugee from Burundi’s Regime with Ketty Nivyabandi

Ketty Nivyabandi, human rights defender who was forced to flee her home in Burundi in May 2015 after leading a peaceful protest, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On dire human rights situation in Burundi: “Burundi’s regime

Turkey

Targeted by Turkey with Nurcan Baysal

Nurcan Baysal, Kurdish author, journalist and human rights defender who in 2017 was awarded the “Brave Women Journalists Award” by the Italian Women Journalists Association, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On being targeted by the Turkish

Russia

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

Iran

Iranian Authoritarianism with Kaveh Shahrooz

Kaveh Shahrooz, lawyer, writer and human rights activist who led a recent successful effort to convince Canada’s parliament to recognize the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran as a crime against humanity, addresses the 12th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below, followed by

Cuba

Taking on the Cuban Regime with Laritza Diversent

Laritza Diversent, Cuban lawyer, journalist, and human rights defender who serves as Executive Director of the nonprofit Cubalex, addresses the 12th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On lack of democracy in Cuba: “The judiciary does not exist.” “The

Turkey

Purged by Erdogan with Yavuz Aydin

Yavuz Aydin, Turkish judge purged by President Erdogan now living in exile, addresses the 12th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the coup events and subsequent purge: “Even before this coup attempt was done, the High Council met

Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Protests: An Eyewitness Account with Denise Ho

Denise Ho, award-winning Hong Kong-based singer, actress and pro-democracy and LGBTQ rights activist, addresses the 12th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On her own involvement in the Hong Kong protests: “I started to understand the negative impacts of

Belarus

Belarus: Fearless in the Face of Tyranny with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Belarusian opposition presidential candidate and human rights activist who was forced to flee Belarus after rigged elections, addresses the 13th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On imprisonment of husband Sergei: “When our daughter asks where he

Panel

Champions for Change with Yang Jianli, Evan Mawarire, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Melissa Mahtani

Full Transcript Moderator: Welcome to our panel on Champions for Change. I’m joined by three incredibly courageous individuals here: Evan Mawarire, pastor and democracy activist from Zimbabwe, Yang Jianli, a dissident from China; and Vladimir Kara-Murza, an opposition politician from Russia. So I’m going to dive straight in here, and,

Russia

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

Full Transcript Moderator: Let me introduce Leonid, whom we heard at the UN yesterday – we had a small taster event for diplomats at the United Nations which was very powerful and Leonid was one of the speakers. Leonid Volkov is chief of staff to the imprisoned Russian opposition leader

Hong Kong

Fighting for Hong Kong with Joey Siu

Activist and advisor to Hong Kong Watch and the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, Joey Siu, speaks at the 14th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the fight for democracy in Hong Kong: “Over the years the people of Hong Kong have

Uganda

How To Topple A Dictator with Bobi Wine

Ugandan pop-star turned 2021 presidential candidate and opposition leader, Bobi Wine, speaks at the 14th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On deciding to speak out: “My fame wouldn’t change the reality – that I was just a boy from

Speakers

Olga Aivazovska

Forcibly displaced civil society leader & advocate for war crimes tribunal against Putin

Ali Al Ahmed

Saudi scholar, writer, public speaker and expert on Saudi political affairs

Luis Almagro

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

Yavuz Baydar

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

Alex Chow

Former Secretary General of Hong Kong Federation of Students

Denise Ho

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist and award-winning singer and actress (by video)

Nathan Law

Hong Kong student leader of the Umbrella Movement, former Member of Hong Kong Legislative Council who fled arrest

Lester Shum

Former Deputy Secretary General of Hong Kong Federation of Students

News

Press releases

Rights Groups Spotlight Abuses In Oil Rich Regimes As West Seeks New Energy Sources

GENEVA, March 9, 2022 — A coalition of 25 human rights NGOs announced today that dissidents from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela will deliver keynote remarks at the 14th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. The move comes as Western countries seek to replace Russian energy with resources from the repressive regimes. Areej al-Sadhan, sister to Saudi

Posts

“These Are Our Memories”: A Ukrainian Ex-MP On Why Kyiv Won’t Surrender

Interviewed by Dylan Rogers Almost every Ukrainian kid knows the phrase “4am Kyiv is bombed”. It is the expression that was used to announce the start of the German bombardment in 1941. Yet last Thursday morning it came alive again, as Russian dictator Vladimir Putin began an unprovoked attack on

Posts

The Reluctant Revolutionary: An Interview With Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

After an eventful year in which Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko illegally downed a plane carrying a dissident blogger and orchestrated a migrant crisis on Europe’s eastern border, I talked to democratic opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (GS’21).

Posts

“I Know the Course of History”: Lyubov Sobol Confronts Russia’s Future

Interviewed by Dylan Rogers. Shortly after Russia went to the polls this September, I sat down with opposition leader Lyubov Sobol (GS’20). At 34 Sobol occupies an idiosyncratic place in Russia’s pro-democracy movement. She has been with the now-imprisoned Alexei Navalny from the start, joining his anti-corruption campaign in 2011.