Human Rights Champions to Gather at Palais des Nations Room XXIII at 1:30 pm for Opening of 10th Geneva Summit

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Top-name activists, former political prisoners and victims from around the world will today address the opening session of the 10th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy today at the Palais des Nations.

Organized by 25 NGOs, the Geneva Summit’s UN opening will feature brief presentations by activists from Russia, China, Congo, Turkey, Iran, and many other human rights hotspots, ahead of the Summit’s main public session tomorrow at the CICG.

Today’s keynote address will be delivered by Hans van Baalen, MEP and ALDE Party President. There will also be a special appearance by Bill Browder, the man behind the Magnitsky Act, a law sanctioning Russian oligarchs.

The two-day Geneva Summit aims to place key issues on the global agenda before the world’s foreign ministers gather to open UN Human Rights Council’s main annual session next week.

Speakers today and tomorrow include:

· Asli Erdogan, Turkish novelist, human rights advocate, former political prisoner
· Pastor Evan Mawarire, Founder of #ThisFlag movement protesting Mugabe regime, arrested as he led church service
· Maziar Bahari, Journalist and filmmaker jailed and tortured by Iran, author of NYT bestseller “Then They Came for Me”
· Julienne Lusenge, Congolese women’s rights champion fighting rape as a weapon of war, president of SOFEPADI, a coalition of 40 women’s organizations in DRC
· Vladimir Kara-Murza, Leading dissident against Putin regime, Chairman of Boris Nemtsov Foundation, survivor of two poisoning attempts
· Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States, former Foreign Minister of Uruguay
· Guillermo Fariñas Hernández, Psychologist, journalist, former political prisoner, held 25 hunger strikes to protest Castro regime
· Nguyen Trung Trong Nghia, Son of political prisoner Nguyen Trung Ton, Vietnamese human rights defender and pastor
· Taha Siddiqui, Award-winning Pakistani journalist, attacked for criticizing the military
· Lam Wing-kee, Hong Kong bookseller, pro-democracy activist, abducted by China for selling banned books
· Golog Jigme, Tibetan monk, human rights activist, former political prisoner
· Farida Abbas Khalaf, Escaped Yazidi sex slave of the Islamic State, author of “The Girl Who Beat ISIS”
· Wuilly Arteaga, Violinist who became symbol of Venezuela’s 2017 democracy protests
· Antonio Ledezma, Exiled mayor of Caracas, opposition leader, political prisoner who recently escaped Venezuela
· Kasha Jacqueline, Ugandan LGBT activist, founder and director of Freedom and Roam Uganda
· Maryam Nayeb-Yazdi, Human rights activist, founder of which documents Iranian human rights violations, co-founder of Oslo Women’s Rights Initiative
· Maryam Malekpour, Sister of Saeed Malekpour, an innocent Iranian-born resident of Canada serving life sentence in Tehran’s Evin prison for “spreading corruption on earth”
· Fred and Cindy Warmbier, Parents of Otto Warmbier, American student tortured in North Korea
· Kenneth Bae, Korean-American Missionary jailed and tortured by North Korea, author of “Not Forgotten, The True Story of My Imprisonment in North Korea”
· Yang Jianli, Chinese dissident, former political prisoner, survivor of Tiananmen Square massacre, president of Initiatives for China
· Irwin Cotler, Chair of Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, former Canadian MP & Minister of Justice, McGill U. Professor of Law Emeritus
· Alfred H. Moses, Chair of UN Watch, former U.S. Ambassador to Romania, Special Presidential Envoy for the Cyprus Conflict, Special Counsel to President Jimmy Carter
· Javier El-Hage, Chief Legal Officer, Human Rights Foundation

Now in its tenth year, the Geneva Summit has enjoyed widespread coverage by by CNN, Le Monde, and other major media.