subjects

Speeches

Human Rights

Torture and Cruel and Inhuman Treatment with Parvez Sharma

Pavez Sharma, an Indian filmmaker, author, and journalist, addresses the 1st Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks.   Full remarks   Some of the largest and most bitter battles in this new century are going to be fought on the front lines of religion.

Human Rights

Bloggers for Freedom with Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Bart Woord, Pavel Marozau, Esra'a Al Shafei

A panel including former Secretary General of the International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY), Bart Woord; Belarusian and Estonian civic activist, media manager, and web producer, Pavel Marozau; international human rights activist and President and co-founder of Stop Child Executions, Nazanin Afshin-Jam; and dissident blogger from Bahrein creating virtual spaces

Human Rights

Freedom of Expression and Defamation of Religion with Caroline Fourest, Mohamed Sifaoui, Floyd Abrams, Angela Wu, Patrick Gaubert, Brett Schaefer

A panel including scholar and practitioner of international religious liberty law, Angela Wu; Senior Research Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs for The Heritage Foundation, Brett Schaefer; expert on US constitutional law and freedom of speech, Floyd Abrams; director, teacher, columnist, and the co-founder of the journal ProChoix who has previously

Human Rights

Welcome with Isabel Rochat

Isabel Rochat, member of the Council of the Geneva canton between 2009 and 2013 and member of the Federal Commission Against Racism until 2012, delivers opening remarks at the 2nd Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks.   Full remarks   Hillel Neuer: On

Human Rights

Welcome with John Suarez

John Suarez, Executive Director at the Center for a Free Cuba, addresses the 2nd Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks.   Full remarks   John Suarez: Mayor of Geneva, Isabel Rochat, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I’d also like to point out that today

Human Rights

Opening Speech with Hillel Neuer

International lawyer, diplomat and Executive Director of UN Watch, Hillel Neuer delivers opening remarks at the 3rd Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks. Full remarks Good morning. My name is Hillel Neuer. I’m the executive director of UN Watch. On behalf of our organization, the

Human Rights

Opening with Yang Jianli

Yang Jianli, leading Chinese dissident and pro-democracy activist, addresses the 4th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks.   Full remarks   Yang Jianli: Thank you Hillel. Good morning my friends and good day. I say good day because anytime friends join together to

Human Rights

Introduction with Hillel Neuer

International lawyer, diplomat and Executive Director of UN Watch, Hillel Neuer delivers opening remarks at the 4th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks. Full remarks Ladies and gentlemen, welcome, my name is Hillel Neuer. I’m the Executive Director of UN watch. I have the honour

Human Rights

Blasphemy Laws and Honor Killings with Jacqueline Thibault, Philippe Robinet, Anne-Isabelle Tollet

A panel including, Director General of Calmann-Lévy Books and founder and President of Kero Books, Philippe Robinet; founder of Fondation Surgir, a human rights organization which supports feminist groups in Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Switzerland, Jacqueline Thibault; and French journalist, novelist, and screenwriter, Anne-Isabelle Tollet, address the 4th Annual Geneva

Human Rights

The Dishonor of Honor Killings with Jacqueline Thibault

Jacqueline Thibault, founder of ‘Fondation Surgir,’ a human rights organization which supports feminist groups in Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Switzerland, addresses the 4th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks. Full remarks Philippe Robinet:  […] as blasphemy laws and honor killings, the “Fondation Surgir”, lives

Human Rights

Beyond the Arab Spring with Ebrahim Mehtari, Maikel Nabil, Tom Gross

A panel including journalist and commentator specializing in the Middle East and human rights, Tom Gross; Iranian activist who was arrested, jailed, tortured, and physically abused by the Iranian Regime after taking part in the Green Movement demonstrations of 2009, Ebrahim Mehtari; and an Egyptian blogger and political activist, Maikel

Cuba

Conclusion with John Suarez

John Suarez, Executive Director at the Center for a Free Cuba, adresses the 5th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks.   Full remarks   John Suarez: Thank you Hillel and I just want to say thanks to UN Watch for making this possible

China

Geneva Summit 2014 Courage Award with Alfred Moses, Chen Guangcheng

Blind Chinese human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng  recieves the 2014 Geneva Summit Courage Award and addresses the 6th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks.   Full Remarks   Hillel Neuer: As I said when we opened today’s summit, all of our speakers today

Vietnam

The Fight for Fundamental Freedoms with Dang Xuong Hung

Dang Xuong Hung, a diplomat who defected from the Vietnamese Communist Party, addresses the 6th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks.   Full Remarks   Dang Xuong Hung: Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, my name is Dang Xuong Hung. I am the former consul

Cuba

Resisting Authoritarianism with Damaris Moya Portieles

Cuban democracy leader and rights activist Damaris Moya Portieles addresses the 6th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks.   Full Remarks   Danaris Moya Portieles: First of all, I would like to thank UN Watch and the organisers and the sponsors of this Geneva

North Korea

Defecting from the Hermit Kingdom with Ahn Myeong Chul

Ahn Myeong Chul, North Korean former prison guard turned defector and human rights activist, addresses the 6th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks.   Full Remarks   Ahn Myeong Chul: Good afternoon, my name is Ahn Myeong Chul. I would like to thank

Saudi Arabia

Virtual: Human Rights in Saudi Arabia with Ali Al Ahmed

Ali Al Ahmed, formerly Saudi Arabia’s youngest political prisoner, addresses the 6th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks.   Full Remarks   Thank you so much for having me. My name is Ali Al Ahmed, I’m calling you from Washington DC. I wanted

Human Rights

Mobilising the 98% with Taha Bawa

Taha Bawa, co-founder of Goodwall, the humanitarian and environmental social network that encourages people to actively contribute to society and seek to inspire others, addresses the 6th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks.   Full Remarks   My name is Taha, and I’m here

Venezuela

Venezuela: Fighting For Freedom with Tamara Suju

Tamara Suju, Venezuelan lawyer and human rights activist, addresses the 7th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks. Full Remarks Good morning. I’ve been asked to talk about my experience and what I’ve done so that I would end up in the Czech Republic, which

Human Rights

Presentation of Geneva Summit 2015 Courage Award with Alfred Moses

Ambassador Alfred Moses, former special counsel to President Carter, U.S. ambassador to Romania, and special presidential envoy for the Cyprus conflict, addresses the 7th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks. Full Remarks Hillel Neuer: The work that the Geneva Summit does for the past

North Korea

Surviving Slave Labor with Il Lim

Il Lim, North Korean defector and former slave laborer, addresses the 7th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for full prepared remarks. Full Remarks I would like to tell you about my experience as an overseas worker. 19 years ago, on November 8th, 1996, I went to Kuwait

Human Rights

Beyond Geneva: Advancing Human Rights in 2016 with Alfred Moses

Ambassador Alfred H. Moses, Chair of UN Watch, former U.S. Ambassador to Romania, Special Presidential Envoy for the Cyprus Conflict, and Special Counsel to President Jimmy Carter, addresses the 8th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the Geneva Summit:

China

From Miss World to World Renowned Activist with Anastasia Lin

Anastasia Lin, actress, classical pianist, human rights activist and Miss World Canada 2015, addresses the 8th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On arriving in a democracy: “Now after I moved to Canada only then did I realize the extent

Human Rights

Opening Address with Irwin Cotler

Irwin Cotler, Founder and Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, addresses the 9th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On political prisoners:  “We have a responsibility to not only speak up but to act.” “It’s our responsibility

Moderator

Introduction to Fighting Oppression, Defending Human Rights with Jared Genser

Jared Genser, international human rights lawyer, addresses the 9th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the Summit’s giving a voice to the voiceless: “What we’re gonna be doing is hearing from three people on the front lines about their own

Human Rights

Do Human Rights Matter? with Alfred Moses

Alfred Moses, UN Watch Chair and a former special advisor to President Carter, addresses the 9th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the legacy of the fall of the Berlin Wall: “After the Berlin Wall came down, and

Presenter

Presentation of the Geneva Summit 2017 Courage Award with Astrid Thors

Astrid Thors, a former OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities and Finnish MP, addresses the 9th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. Presenting the 2017 Moral Courage Award to former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed: “Mister President, your work shows how

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.”

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

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

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

Syria

Speaking out against ISIS with Abdalaziz Alhamza

Abdalaziz Alhamza, award-winning journalist and co-founder of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, which exposes the atrocities committed by the Assad regime and ISIS, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On becoming a citizen journalist: “The local

Human Rights

Do Human Rights Matter? with Alfred Moses

Ambassador Alfred Moses, Chair of United Nations Watch, addresses the 11th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the battle for human rights in the world: “It has always been a battle between freedom and oppression.” “We had total oppression

Pakistan

Blasphemy in Pakistan with Peter Bhatti

Peter Bhatti, brother of Pakistan’s first and only Christian Federal Minister who was assassinated for opposing Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and Chairman of the non-profit International Christian Voice, addresses the 12th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below, followed by the full prepared remarks. On Pakistan’s

Qatar

Qatar’s World Cup Slaves with Pete Pattisson

Pete Pattisson, award-winning investigative journalist who reports on labor exploitation and modern forms of slavery around the world, addresses the 12th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On exploitation of migrants in Qatar: “My reporting began in the summer

Democratic Republic of Congo

Ending A Cycle of War with Rebecca Kabuo

Rebecca Kabuo, Congolese human rights activist who has been arrested more than a dozen times during peaceful protests and, in 2015, was dubbed the youngest prisoner of conscience in the world, addresses the 12th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks.

Venezuela

“I Heard Five Shots” with Rosa Orozco

Rosa Orozco, mother of student Geraldine Moreno killed by the Venezuelan National Guard while protesting against the government in February 2014, addresses the 12th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below, followed by the full prepared remarks. On her daughter being shot and killed by

Venezuela

Ending Torture in Venezuela with Diego Arria

Diego Arria, former Venezuelan politician and diplomat who served as Venezuela’s permanent representative to the UN from 1991 to 1993, addresses the 12th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the being a Venezuelan pro-democracy activist: “I am one

Mauritania

The Abolitionist Who Won’t Be Silenced with Biram Dah Abeid

Biram Dah Abeid, Mauritanian antislavery campaigner and founder of Mauritania’s Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA), receives the Courage Award and addresses the 12th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On slavery in Mauritania: “Our parents,

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

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

Venezuela

Venezuela: Building Unity to Challenge Oppression with Hasler Iglesias

Venezuelan youth leader who went into hiding to escape arrest by the Maduro regime, Hasler Iglesias, addresses the 15th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see below for his remarks. Full Remarks We humans develop a strong sense of belonging to our motherlands. And for me, that’s Venezuela. But my story

Speakers

Ali Ehsassi

Member of Canadian Parliament, Chair of Foreign Affairs Committee

Alireza Akhondi

Swedish MP campaigning for the EU to list the IRGC as a terrorist entity

Hassan Akkad

Award-winning filmmaker & human rights activist tortured by Assad

Dr. Gyal Lo

Tibetan activist, educational sociologist, and a leading expert on China’s assimilation and education policies in Tibet

News

Posts

The 14th Geneva Summit: Photos, Videos, and Testimony

Russian opposition activist Leonid Volkov on stage at the 14th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, April 6, 2022. For photos, videos, and speaker testimony, see below: For all high-res photos, click here. For a full video, click here. For individual videos, click here. To read full individual testimony,

Press releases

As China Considers Arming Russia in Ukraine, Dissidents Unite In Geneva

GENEVA, March 14, 2022 — A coalition of 25 human rights groups announced today that leading dissidents from Hong Kong, Tibet and China will come together to express their support for democracy at the 14th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. The announcement comes as US officials reveal Russia has requested military assistance from China in

Posts

The Reporter That Won’t Be Silenced

Interviewed by Dylan Rogers. Kazakhstan’s strongmen have long cast the country as a bastion of stability in an otherwise restive region. Yet in January Kazakhstan erupted in protest, as an increase in fuel prices combined with political concerns to drive nationwide demonstrations […]