Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy
The Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy is an annual human rights summit sponsored by a coalition of 20 non-governmental organizations. Each year, on the eve of the United Nations Human Rights Council's main annual session, activists from around the world meet to raise international awareness of human rights situations.
The first summit took place on Sunday, April 19, 2009, prior to the United Nations Durban Review Conference. Speakers included, among others, Iranian activist Nazanin Afshin Jam; Egyptian dissident Saad Eddin Ibrahim; American human rights activist Ellen Bork; Gibreil Hamid of Darfur, Sudan; Soe Aung of Burma; Marlon Zakeyo of Zimbabwe; Cuban opposition activist and former political prisoner José Gabriel Ramón Castillo; and Venezuelan activist Gonzalo Himiob Santome.
The 2010 summit took place on Monday, March 8, 2010. Speakers included, among others, Massouda Jalal, former Afghan Minister of Women's Affairs; exiled Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer; Bob Boorstin, Google's policy director; Caspian Makan, fiancé of slain Iranian icon Neda Agha Soltan; Cuban dissident José Gabriel Ramón Castillo; and Bo Kyi of Burma, a former political prisoner and secretary of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
The 2011 summit took place on Tuesday, March 15, 2011. Speakers included, among others, Ugandan LGBT rights activist Jacqueline Kasha; Cuban dissident Luis Enrique Ferrer Garcia; Guang-il Jung, a North Korean labor camp escapee; Turkmenistani activist Farid Tukhbatullin; North Korean activist Cheong Kwang Il; and Libyan dissident Mohamed Eljahmi;
The 2012 summit took place on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Speakers included, among others, Chinese dissidents Yang Jianli and Ren Wanding; Cuban activist Néstor Rodríguez Lobaina; Zimbabwean activist Jestina Mukoko; Burmese activist Zoya Phan; former Egyptian political prisoner Maikel Nabil; North Korean defectors Joo-il Kim and Song Ju Kim; Iranian activist Ebrahim Mehtari; and Syrian activist Hadeel Kouki.
The 2013 summit took place on Tuesday, February 19, 2013. Speakers included, among others, Pakistani women's rights activist Mukhtar Mai; Moroccan writer and atheist Kacem El Ghazzali; Tibetan politician Dicki Chhoyang; Syrian activist Randa Kassis; former Cuban political prisoner Régis Iglesias; Iranian dissident Marina Nemat; Pyotr Verzilov, husband of jailed Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova; and Kazakh journalist Lukpan Akhmedyarov.
The 2014 summit took place on Tuesday, February 25, 2014. Speakers included, among others, Mauritanian anti-slavery activist Biram Dah Abeid; Tibetan MP Tenzin Dhardon Sharling; Chinese political dissident Yang Jianli; Canadian MP and human rights lawyer Irwin Cotler; North Korean human rights activist Ahn Myong Chul; Naghmeh Abedini, wife of imprisoned Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini; and the aunt of imprisoned Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López.
The 2015 summit took place on Tuesday, February 24, 2015. Speakers included, among others, Park Yeon-mi, a North Korean defector and human rights activist; Lim Il, a North Korean defector and former slave laborer; a Nigerian teenager, identified simply as "Saa", who escaped after being abducted by Boko Haram; Hong Kong protest leaders Alex Chow and Lester Shum; Pierre Torres, a French journalist who was held hostage by ISIS for ten months; Ukrainian protest leader Mustafa Nayyem; Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng; Turkish journalist Yavuz Baydar; Moroccan politician Fouzia Elbayed; and Tibetan politician Dicki Chhoyang.
The summit's Courage Award was given to Raif Badawi, an imprisoned Saudi Arabian writer and activist, and accepted on his behalf by Elham Manea, Professor at the University of Zurich. The Women's Rights Award was given to Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist and the founder of My Stealthy Freedom.
The 2016 summit took place on Tuesday, February 23, 2016. Speakers included, among others, Ensaf Haidar, wife of jailed Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi; Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada 2015 and an advocate for human rights in China; Vian Dakhil, Iraqi politician and ISIS victim's advocate; Svitlana Zalishchuk, a Ukrainian politician and key figure in the Euromaidan movement of 2013; Darya Safai, a Belgian-Iranian women's rights advocate; Orhan Kemal Cengiz, a Turkish human rights advocate; Lee Young-guk, a former bodyguard of Kim Jong-il who defected to South Korea; Polina Nemirovskaia, Russian human rights activist; David Trimble, former First Minister of Northern Ireland; and Chinese dissident Yang Jianli.
The 2017 summit took place on Tuesday, February 21, 2017. Speakers included Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch; Irwin Cotler, chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights; Jakub Klepal, executive director of Forum 2000; Can Dündar, exiled Turkish journalist; Zhanna Nemtsova, Russian journalist and activist; Anastasia Zotova, Russian activist and wife of Ildar Dadin; Antonietta Ledezma, daughter of imprisoned Venezuelan politician Antonio Ledezma; Chito Gascon, Filipino activist; Taghi Rahmani, Iranian journalist and husband of Narges Mohammadi; Alfred H. Moses, chair of UN Watch; El Sexto, Cuban graffiti artist and activist; Nyima Lhamo, exiled Tibetan activist and niece of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche; Biram Dah Abeid, Mauritanian anti-slavery activist; Astrid Thors, Finnish politician; Mohamed Nasheed, Maldivian activist; Medard Mulangala, DRC opposition leader; James Jones, documentary filmmaker; Kim Kwang-jin, North Korean defector; and Đặng Xuân Diệu, Vietnamese human rights activist.
The 2017 Women's Rights Award was given to "Shirin", a Yazidi woman who escaped sexual slavery in the Islamic State, and author of I Remain a Daughter of the Light (Ich bleibe eine Tocher des Lichts), recently published in Germany.
Partners include the following organizations:
- UN Watch
- Darfur Peace and Development Center
- Directorio Democratico Cubano
- Freedom & Roam Uganda
- Human Rights Foundation
- Human Rights Activists in Iran
- Initiatives for China
- International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism
- Stop Child Executions
- World Uighur Congress
- Viet Tan
- Uyghur American Association
- Collectif Urgence Darfour
- Human Rights Without Frontiers
- Ingenieurs Du Monde
- Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children
- International Federation of Liberal Youth
- Tibetan Women's Association - Switzerland
- Justice for North Korea
- Liberal International
- Freedom Rights Project
- Iniciativa por Venezuela
- Dehghan, Saeed Kamali (24 February 2015). "Iranian woman wins rights award for hijab campaign". The Guardian.
- "About us". Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.
- "Program, Sunday, April 19, 2009". Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.
- "Directorio at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy". Directorio. 19 April 2009. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02.
- "Program, Monday, March 08, 2010". Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. Archived from the original on 2015-02-27.
- "Shadow Summit In Geneva Focusing On Neglected Rights Issues". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 8 March 2010.
- "Dissidents, Ex-Political Prisoners Organizing Geneva Summit to Urge Help from UN Rights Council". Viet Tan. 14 February 2011.
- "Program, Tuesday, March 15, 2011". Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. Archived from the original on February 27, 2015.
- Kyoung, Kwon Eun (17 March 2011). "Prison Camp Investigation Needed". Daily NK.
- "Libya revolt as it happened: Friday". BBC News. 4 March 2011.
- "Program, Tuesday, March 13, 2012". Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. Archived from the original on 2015-02-27.
- Gross, Tom (16 March 2012). "The true face of 'human rights' at the UN". The National Post.
- "Program, Tuesday, February 19, 2013". Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. Archived from the original on 2015-02-27.
- Davies, Catriona (21 February 2013). "Gang rape victim fights back for girls' education". CNN.
- Kirchick, James (29 March 2013). "Exiled After Threats: Blogger Wants More Freedoms in Morocco". Spiegel Online.
- "Kalon Dicki Chhoyang addresses Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy". Phayul.com. 20 February 2013. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015.
- "Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Kazakh Activists Attend Human Rights Summit In Geneva". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 19 February 2013.
- "Program, Tuesday, February 25, 2014". Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. Archived from the original on 2015-02-27.
- "Haratin: Biram Dah Abeid Talks At Geneva Summit For Human Rights And Democracy". UNPO. 27 February 2014.
- "Interview: Tibetan Parliamentarian attends Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy". Tibet.Net. Central Tibetan Administration. 28 February 2014.
- "Conservative MP under fire for barring Liberal MP from attending charity event in Israel". CTV News. 25 February 2014.
- "Chinese Dissident Chen Given Award At Human Rights Conference In Geneva". NTD.tv. 25 February 2014.
- Goodenough, Patrick (27 February 2014). "Activists Point an Accusing Finger at Members of U.N. Human Rights Council". CNSNews.
- "Program, Tuesday, February 24 2015". Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. Archived from the original on 2015-02-27.
- Shim, Elizabeth (25 February 2015). "Defector: North Korean slave labor system earns regime billions". UPI.
- ""I escaped Boko Haram" – A Nigerian girl who was kidnapped with 270 others ("Bring Back Our Girls")". 25 February 2015.
- Maurisse, Marie (24 February 2015). "How I escaped Boko Haram". Le Monde.
- Tsang, Emily (26 February 2015). "Keep up pressure for democracy in Hong Kong, student leaders tell world summit". South China Morning Post.
- "I was held captive by ISIS" - Pierre Torres interviewed by Tom Gross". 25 February 2015.
- Timm, Leo (11 February 2015). "Hong Kong Protest Leaders To Attend Human Rights Summit in Geneva". The Epoch Times.
- "Veteran journalist: Media in Turkey crippled due to self-censorship". Today's Zaman. 27 February 2015.
- Basu, Rekha (25 February 2015). "A courageous push for rights in Muslim world". The Des Moines Register.
- Cook, Jane (26 February 2015). "DIIR Kalon: Tibet stands as a symbol of non-violent struggle for freedom". Tibet Post International.
- Hayden, Sally (24 February 2015). "Imprisoned Saudi Arabian Blogger Raif Badawi Gets Geneva Summit's 'Courage' Award". Vice News.
- Manea, Elham (26 February 2015). "'We Stand United in Our Humanity'". The World Post.
- "Jailed Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Antonio Ledezma & Leopoldo Lopez Win 2016 Courage Award from 25 NGOs at Geneva Summit Held at UN". GenevaSummit.org.
- "9th Annual Geneva Summit". GenevaSummit.org.
- "In an age of autocracy, meet the dissidents speaking truth to power". The Guardian. February 22, 2017.
- "Partners". Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.