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Dissidents Gather at Geneva Rights Summit

Published by UN Watch at March 15, 2011

Click for Photos Here

GENEVA, March 15 – In parallel with the current session of the UN Human Rights Council, courageous champions of human rights joined together today in Geneva, Switzerland, to urge action against oppressive governments, support democracy dissidents, and propose country resolutions for the UN council to adopt.

Renowned dissidents, rights activists and parliamentarians addressed the third annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.

In ther presentation, conference participants turned an international spotlight on victims who need protection, advance the struggle of dissidents against state repression, and champion internet freedom for rights activists.

Tomorrow (March 16, 2011), the cross-regional group of dissidents will receive expert training on how to use social media to promote freedom. They will also meet with senior diplomats and UN human rights officials.

The third annual Geneva Summit is organized by a global civil society coalition of 20 human rights groups, including UN Watch, Freedom House, Ibuka and Tibetan, Vietnamese and Zimbabwean organizations, with support from the Canton of Geneva. (Click here for full list of sponsors.)

For more information, visit http://www.genevasummit.org/.

Photos
Live webcast: www.genevasummit.org.
Follow updates on Twitter.
See Facebook fan page.
Videos will be posted on YouTube.

 

<p><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 14pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a title="Permanent Link to " href="http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/2011/03/15/dissidents-gather-at-geneva-rights-summit/" target="_blank"><span style="COLOR: red"><em>Dissidents Gather at Geneva Rights Summit</em></span></a></span></b></p><p /><p style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span class="chronodata"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">Published by </span></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a title="View all posts by UN Watch  " href="http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/author/admin/" target="_blank"><span style="COLOR: red">UN Watch</span></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"> <span class="chronodata">at March 15, 2011 </span><span class="entry-category">in <a title="View all posts in Human Rights Council (UNHRC)" href="http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/category/human-rights-council/" target="_blank">Human Rights Council (UNHRC)</a></span></span></p><p /><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=288910&l=d578b49fe5&id=163476114507" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Click for Photos Here</span></strong></a></span></p><p /><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">GENEVA, March 15 – In parallel with the current session of the UN Human Rights Council, courageous champions of human rights&nbsp;joined together today in Geneva, Switzerland, to urge action against oppressive governments, support democracy dissidents, and propose country resolutions for the UN council to adopt.</span></p><p /><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">Renowned dissidents, rights activists and parliamentarians who addressed the third annual <strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy</span></strong> include:</span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/68?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Mohamad Mostafaei</span></strong></a></span><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, </span></strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">recently-escaped Iranian lawyer<strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial">&nbsp;</span></strong>who defended Sakineh, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning on charges of adultery </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/29?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Yang Jianli</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, former political prisoner, survivor of <place w:st="on" />Tiananmen Square</place /> and representative of jailed writer Liu Xiaobo at recent Nobel Prize ceremony </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/72?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Mahmoud Salem</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, alias the “SandMonkey,” Egyptian cyber-dissident and leading voice for the <street w:st="on" /></span></p><address w:st="on">Tahrir Square</address></street />freedom revolution <p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/71?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Mohamed Eljahmi</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, Libyan rights activist<strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial">, brother of slain dissident Fathi Eljahmi</span></strong> </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://genevasummit.org/speaker/62?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Jacqueline Kasha</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, founder of Freedom and Roam Uganda, an LGBT organization in <city w:st="on" /><place w:st="on" />Kampala</place /></city />, colleague of slain gay rights activist David Kato </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/64?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Grace Kwinjeh</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, Zimbabwean female human rights defender and journalist </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/75?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">The Hon. Miguel Angel Rodriguez</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, Venezuelan opposition MP, journalist, host of morning program on politics “that infuriates the Chávez government” <em><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial">(<state w:st="on" /><place w:st="on" />Washington</place /></state /> Post)</span></em> </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/65?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Dalia Ziada</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, Egyptian blogger and human rights activist, Director of the Egypt Office of the American Islamic Congress </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/76?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Lina Ben Mhenni</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, Tunisian Blogger, founder of “A Tunisian Girl,” a blog banned by the Ben Ali regime </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/61?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">John Dau</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, activist and refugee from <place w:st="on" />South Sudan</place /> </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/66?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Gwang-il Jung</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, survivor of North Korean prison camps </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/63?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Nguyen Thanh Van</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, Vietnamese Blogger </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">The Hon. Karin S. Woldseth</span></strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, Norwegian MP </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/73?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Bernard Schalscha</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, Director of Collectif Urgence Darfour </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/74?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Juan Branco</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, President of <em><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Jeune République, </span></em>French pro-democracy institute </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/67?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Farid Tukhbatullin</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, Turkmen Human rights activist, former prisoner threatened with death by his government </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">Luis Enrique Ferrer Garcia</span></strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, Cuban dissident who received a 28-year sentence for his work with the Varela project, a civic initiative calling for democratic reforms in <country-region w:st="on" /><place w:st="on" />Cuba</place /></country-region /> </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/69?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Dechem Pemba</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, UK-born Tibetan, editor of the website High Peaks Pure Earth, on which Tibetan blogs written in Tibetan and Chinese are translated into English </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">Bahtiyar &Ouml;mer</span></strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, Uyghur human rights activist whose wife Gulmire Imin, received life in prison for being “illegal organizer” of 2009 demonstrations </span></p><p /><p style="LINE-HEIGHT: normal; MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/70?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Ti-Anna Wang</span></strong></a></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, daughter of Bingzhang Wang, renowned Chinese democracy activist serving life prison sentence in solitary confinement </span></p><p /><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">In ther presentation, conference participants turned an international spotlight on victims who need protection, advance the struggle of dissidents against state repression, and champion internet freedom for rights activists.</span></p><p /><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">Tomorrow (March 16, 2011), the cross-regional group of dissidents will receive expert training on how to use social media to promote freedom. They will also meet with senior diplomats and UN human rights officials.</span></p><p /><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">The third annual Geneva Summit is organized by a global civil society coalition of 20 human rights groups, including UN Watch, Freedom House, Ibuka and Tibetan, Vietnamese and Zimbabwean organizations, with support from the Canton of Geneva. (<em><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red"><a href="http://genevasummit.org/the_coalition/new" target="_blank"><span style="COLOR: red">Click here</span></a></span></em><em><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial"> for full list of sponsors.)</span></em></span></p><p /><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">For more information, visit <span style="COLOR: red"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/" target="_blank"><span style="COLOR: red">http://www.genevasummit.org/</span></a></span>.<br /><br /><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=288910&l=d578b49fe5&id=163476114507" target="_blank"><span style="COLOR: red">Photos</span></a></span></strong><br /><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Live webcast: <span style="COLOR: red"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/" target="_blank"><span style="COLOR: red">www.genevasummit.org</span></a></span>.</span></strong> <br /><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Follow updates on <span style="COLOR: red"><a href="http://twitter.com/GenevaSummit" target="_blank"><span style="COLOR: red">Twitter</span></a></span>.</span></strong> <br /><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial">See <span style="COLOR: red"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/genevasummit" target="_blank"><span style="COLOR: red">Facebook fan page</span></a></span>.</span></strong> <br /><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Videos will be posted on <span style="COLOR: red"><a href="http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=05F4724E52D0BD6E" target="_blank"><span style="COLOR: red">YouTube</span></a></span>.</span></strong></span></p>

Geneva Summit 2011 Summary
<p style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB" lang="EN-GB"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/about_the_summit/2011/en" target="_blank">Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy March 15-16, 2011</a><br /></span></u></b><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB" lang="EN-GB"><br /><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/program" target="_blank">Geneva Summit 2011 - Program</a><br /></span></u></b><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB" lang="EN-GB"><br /><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/" target="_blank">Geneva Summit 2011 - Sessions</a><br /></span></u></b><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB" lang="EN-GB"><br /><a href="http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=288910&l=d578b49fe5&id=163476114507" target="_blank">Geneva Summit 2011 - Photos</a><br /></span></u></b><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB" lang="EN-GB"><br /><a href="http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=05F4724E52D0BD6E" target="_blank">Geneva Summit 2011 - Videos</a></span></u></b></p>

Geneva Summit 2011 Links
<p style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a title="Permanent Link to "Sudan after the referendum: John Dau, Juan Branco, Bernard Schalscha address Geneva Summit" t " href="http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/2011/03/17/sudan-after-the-referendum-john-dau-juan-branco-bernard-schalscha-address-geneva-summit/"><span style="COLOR: red"><strong><font size="4">Sudan after the referendum: John Dau, Juan Branco, Bernard Schalscha address Geneva Summit</font></strong></span></a><br /><p /></span></u></p><p style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span class="chronodata"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">Published by </span></span><u><span style="COLOR: red; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a title="View all posts by UN Watch  " href="http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/author/admin/" target="_blank"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">UN Watch</span></a></span></u><span class="chronodata"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"> <abbr class="published" title="2011-03-17T15:46:18+0000">at March 17, 2011</abbr> </span></span><span class="entry-category"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">in <u><span style="COLOR: red"><a title="View all posts in Geneva Summit for Human Rights" href="http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/category/geneva-summit-for-human-rights/" target="_blank"><span style="COLOR: red">Geneva Summit for Human Rights</span></a></span></u><span style="COLOR: red">, <u><a title="View all posts in Human Rights Council (UNHRC)" href="http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/category/human-rights-council/" target="_blank"><span style="COLOR: red">Human Rights Council (UNHRC)</span></a></u></span> and <u><span style="COLOR: red"><a title="View all posts in Sudan" href="http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/category/sudan/" target="_blank"><span style="COLOR: red">Sudan</span></a></span></u>.</span></span><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><p /></span></p><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><!-- .entry-meta --><!-- .entry-head -->GENEVA, March 15 -&nbsp; Dissidents and human rights activists from around the globe gathered today for the 2011 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, held in parallel to the main annual session of the UN Human Rights Council. <u><span style="COLOR: red"><a href="http://genevasummit.org/program" target="_blank"><span style="COLOR: red">Click here</span></a></span></u> for program.&nbsp; Below is a summary of the first panel on the situation in <place w:st="on">Southern Sudan</place> after the referendum.<p /></span></p><p><u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/61?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">John Dau</span></strong></a></span></u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, activist and refugee from South Sudan, told the story of his experiences as a “lost boy” of <place w:st="on"><country-region w:st="on">Sudan</country-region></place>. His five-year ordeal began when government forces from the North attacked his village in <place w:st="on">Southern Sudan</place>. He was separated from his family at twelve years old.<p /></span></p><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">Until he reached safety in <country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Kenya</place></country-region> at the age of seventeen, he lived as a refugee, hiding from government forces that targeted young boys from the South to keep them from growing up to be rebel soldiers. He and his fellow lost boys froze, starved, and suffered from thirst, with many of them falling prey along the way to the elements and to attacks by air and ground forces.<p /></span><span id="more-912"></span></p><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">Dau was lucky enough to arrive finally in Kukuma refugee camp in Kenya, where he was taken care of and granted the opportunity to go to school for the first time in his life. Selected to come to the <country-region w:st="on">United States</country-region>, Dau got a college education and started the John Dau Foundation to build clinics in <place w:st="on">South Sudan</place>.<p /></span></p><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">Dau highlighted not only the hardships of his own experience, but the ongoing complicity of the Sudanese government in the atrocities suffered by the people of <place w:st="on">South Sudan</place>.&nbsp;The government is still funding and equipping proxy groups in South Sudan after the referendum&nbsp;&nbsp;to destabilize the new state, in much the same way that it has been financing and equipping Janjaweed militia groups to terrorize and murder the people of <place w:st="on">Darfur</place>.<p /></span></p><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">Dau ended his speech with an impassioned plea for the international community to pay more attention to the situation in <place w:st="on">Southern Sudan</place> to prevent it from becoming a full-blown genocide.<p /></span></p><p><u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/74?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Juan Branco</span></strong></a></span></u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, president of French pro-democracy institute Jeune République, and an official with the International Criminal Court, addressed the efforts to bring legal action against Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir and members of his government for their crimes. The arrest warrants have been issued for al-Bashir by the ICC, and it&nbsp;is now up to the international community to react, particularly civil society.<p /></span></p><p><u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/speaker/73?iframe=true&width=620&height=440" target="_blank"><strong><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red">Bernard Schalscha</span></strong></a></span></u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">, Director of Collectif Urgence Darfour, spoke about the situation in the Darfur region of <place w:st="on"><country-region w:st="on">Sudan</country-region></place>. The racial motivation for the violence in Darfur is misunderstood by outsiders, who see no racial difference between Darfuris and the government officials in <city w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Khartoum</place></city> who sponsor the Janjaweed militias.<p /></span></p><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">Members of the government are Islamists with Arab ancestry, and see the African, less-Orthodox Muslims of <place w:st="on">Darfur</place> as both racially and religiously inferior. The attacks on the <place w:st="on">Darfur</place> region, therefore, are part of a genocidal campaign by the government against Darfuris because of their ethnic and religious identity.<p /></span></p><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">While the death toll in <place w:st="on">Darfur</place> has been stabilized for the moment, the area is still extremely dangerous and the crisis continues. Bandits and Janjaweed militias routinely terrorize the population, rape women who leave the camp for firewood, and attack aid groups bringing in supplies. There is near-total impunity for these crimes, both for individual perpetrators and the government officials who encourage and equip them. In one specific case an al-Bashir henchman was promoted to Minister of Humanitarian Affairs after the ICC accused him of crimes against humanity.<p /></span></p><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">Two common themes emerged from the panel:<p /></span></p><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">The situation in <country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Sudan</place></country-region> is not in the past, but an ongoing, acute human rights crisis. While the success of the referendum was a major victory for the population of <place w:st="on">Southern Sudan</place>, it is far from a final solution to decades of violence and conflict. Efforts by the government in the North to undermine the new state make further violence all but inevitable, and the crisis in <place w:st="on">Darfur</place> is far from resolved.<p /></span></p><p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US">The complicity of the government in the perpetration of atrocities against its own people. The government used the Janjaweed militia as a proxy force to murder thousands of innocents in <place w:st="on">Darfur</place>, and there are indications that it is beginning a similar campaign against the South. It will take the sustained efforts of the international community and strong pressure from world leaders to compel the <city w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Khartoum</place></city> government to stop its reign of terror against Sudanese civilians.<p /></span></p><p><u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; COLOR: red; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"><a href="http://www.genevasummit.org/" target="_blank"><span style="COLOR: red">Click here</span></a></span></u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Arial; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US" lang="EN-US"> for video of the panel, and of other inspiring speakers at the 2011 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.</span></p><!-- .entry-content -->

Sudan Panel Geneva Summit 2011
 
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