Geneva Summit for Democracy, Human Rights and Tolerance


Geneva Summit for Democracy, Human Rights and Tolerance
by SCE Campaign

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Activists Plan Geneva Summit for Democracy, Human Rights and Tolerance

Vancouver, April 13, 2009 —Stop Child Executions, as part of a multinational coalition of 25 human rights organizations, will gather leading human rights, democracy and anti-racism activists from around the world for a summit in Geneva on April 19, 2009, on the eve of the U.N. Durban Review Conference, and today launched a new interactive website to publicize the event.

Entitled the Geneva Summit for Democracy, Human Rights and Tolerance, the activist gathering will be held one day before the UN world conference on racism, to support its objectives of promoting universal human rights through the eradication of discrimination, intolerance and persecution. Diplomats in Geneva today opened a weeklong session of negotiations on a draft of the Durban Review Conference’s outcome declaration.

“The Geneva Summit will be a unique opportunity for activists to place on the international agenda some of the world’s most pressing human rights issues and situations, to ensure that the U.N. makes the promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights a reality for millions of victims of discrimination and repression around the globe,” said Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President of Stop Child Executions organization. 

The summit will bring under one roof some of the most well-known figures in the struggle for human rights, democracy and tolerance, including Iranian dissident Ahmad Batebi, Egyptian dissident Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Burmese dissident and 2008 Human Rights Watch honouree Bo Kyi, U.S. free speech advocate Floyd Abrams, and Rwandese genocide survivor Ester Murawajo. Also invited are the Dalai Lama, former Czech president and dissident Vaclav Havel, former UN Secretary-General Koffi Annan, film star and Darfur activist Mia Farrow, and Cuban cyber-dissident Yoani Sanchez. For full list of speakers, visit

Speakers and presenters:
Bo Kyi, Burmese dissident, 2008 Human Rights Watch Hero Award 
Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Egyptian dissident and former prisoner of conscience 
José Gabriel Ramon Castillo, Cuban dissident and former prisoner of conscience 
Ahmad Batebi, Iranian dissident and former prisoner of conscience 
Ester Murawajo, Tutsi survivor of genocide in Rwanda, founder of AVEGA 
Irwin Cotler, Counsel for genocide victims and oppressed, Canadian MP, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, McGill University international human rights law professor (on leave) 
Francois Zimeray, French Human Rights Ambassador 
Dominique Sopo, President of SOS Racisme 
Caroline Fourest, French TV commentator, author of "Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan" 
Ahmad Ibrahim Diraige, Representative of Darfur victims, head of National Redemption Front 
Gregory Stanton, President of Genocide Watch and International Association of Genocide Scholars 
Ellen Bork, Senior Program Manager for Human Rights, Freedom House 
Jared Genser, Chairman of Freedom Now 
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President of Stop Child Executions, Miss World Canada 2003 
Parvez Sharma, Gay rights activist and producer of documentary film "Jihad for Love" 
Liesbeth Zegveld, Professor of international humanitarian law at Leiden University, partner at law firm of Böhler Franken Koppe Wijngaarden 
Esra'a Al Shafei, Dissident blogger, director of, winner of Harvard University 2008 Berkman Award for Internet Innovation 
Yoani Sánchez, Cyber-dissident, one of Time Magazine's Most 100 Influential People in 2008 
Ambassador Alfred H. Moses, Chair of UN Watch, former U.S. Special Presidential Emissary for the Cyprus Conflict and Ambassador to Romania 
Angela Wu, International Law Director, The Becket Fund 
Mohamed Sifaoui, Algerian journalist 
Floyd Abrams, Leading U.S. advocate for First Amendment press freedom 
Patrick Gaubert, President of LICRA and Member of the European Parliament 
Steven Groves, Heritage Foundation 

For more information, including on how to register, visit 


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