Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Human Rights: World leaders, opinion makers to attend freedom conference endorsed by the man who went to war with Iraq

World leaders, opinion makers to attend the only conference dedicated to human rights, endorsed by Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Nobel Peace Center, and Amnesty International.

NEW YORK, April 12 - Two hundred people will soon travel to Oslo, Norway to shed light on one of the most crucial issues of our time – human rights. Thor Halvorssen, founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum, says, "This is not a gathering of bureaucrats gorging on weak policy prescriptions. This is a gathering of remarkable achievers, pioneers, public intellectuals, and survivors of tyranny whose contributions to the world is the stuff of legend."

Dissidents from Iran, Russia, China, Cuba, Belarus, North Korea, Venezuela and Pakistan will join in a unified voice to raise the human rights issue to a new level of awareness and understanding in the global arena. Top of the agenda – to draw attention to the daily reality of ongoing suffering of political prisoners, and the injustices of oppressive regimes, to the forefront of people's minds around the world.

The Oslo Freedom Forum was established in 2009 as the World's first global forum addressing human rights. "We do not consider governmental human rights conferences, where some of the world's worst human rights violators take the podium, to be comparable gatherings," says Halvorssen. At the Oslo Freedom Forum 2009, Elie Wiesel, Greg Mortenson, Vaclav Havel, Leyla Zana, Harry Wu, and Jung Chang were among the key speakers.

This year, it will once again gather more than 30 of the most recognized faces in the human rights field, including: Polish president Lech Walsea; former FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt; Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer; and Sudanese reformer Lubna Hussain. Other participants include: Malaysia's former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, Iranian author Marina Nemat, Afghani doctor Sima Samar, former Cuban political prisoner Armando Valladares, and Chechen lawyer Lidia Yusupova – hailed as the bravest woman in Europe.

"Our core idea is to gather human rights defenders together into one place so they can share experiences, trade strategies, create plans for action, and interact with an audience of thinkers, doers, authors, business leaders, academics, and others looking to make an impact," said Halvorssen. "We want to make human rights much more accessible, entertaining, and inspiring."

All conference presentations will be made available online.

Source: Oslo Freedom Forum

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