* This Sunday in Geneva, 19 April 2009

Global Webcast to Draw Worldwide Participation in Human Rights Summit on Eve of U.N. Racism Conference

Geneva, Switzerland — Human rights victims, activists and reporters worldwide will be able via the internet to watch and participate in a global summit of human rights activists that will take place in Geneva this Sunday, on April 19, 2009, one day before the opening of the UN Durban Review Conference on racism and discrimination, to urge the international community to address the world\’s most severe violations.

The day after the Geneva Summit, Iran\’s President Ahmadinejad will appear at the UN conference, which has been dubbed \”Durban II.\” Last week, his envoy in Geneva — apparently concerned about potential scrutiny of Iran\’s treatment of women, ethnic and religious minorities, and gays — protested in a UN session that the Geneva Summit will be taking place in the best venue in the city — the international convention center directly facing the UN.

Former political prisoners Bo Kyi of Burma, Saad Eddin Ibrahim of Egypt, Ahmed Batebi of Iran, Jose Castillo of Cuba, along with activist Marlon Zakeyo of Zimbabwe and advocate Floyd Abrams of the U.S., will be among the world-renowned figures to address the Geneva Summit.

“We are thrilled that victims, activists and journalists around the world will be able to watch and participate in Sunday’s historic human rights gathering,” said Eleiza Braun, spokesperson for the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy. “The summit will hear from some of the leading figures in the struggle against genocide, discrimination and state repression of civil, political and religious freedom. They will be telling their stories and giving voice to the millions who are still in countries where they cannot speak out from fear of torture and persecution.”

SOS Racisme, Freedom House, Ibuka, UN Watch and 30 other human rights and anti-racism NGOs from around the world are joining hands to bring leading human rights figures from Burma, Iran, Egypt, Cuba, Darfur, Venezuela, and many other countries known for severe violations, including discrimination on the basis of religion, belief, gender and sexual orientation. Hundreds of human rights NGO activists are expected to attend in person in Geneva.

Viewers worldwide can watch the live webcast on Sunday at – and pose questions to the panel via e-mail throughout the day. Prior registration is no longer required.

What: The Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance, and Democracy

Who: Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Ahmed Batebi, Jose Gabriel Ramon Castillo, Bo Kyi, Marlon Zakeyo, Floyd Abrams and many more

Where: International Conference Center Geneva (CICG), 17 rue de Varembé, Geneva

When: April 19, 2009, from 8:30 to 18:30

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
* Marlon Zakeyo, Zimbabwe human rights activist
* Gonzalo Himiob Santomé, Attorney for Venezuelan political prisoners, dissidents and student leaders
* 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 (via video)
*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, Bernard and Barbara Lomas Fellow, The Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, Heritage Foundation


*Racism, Discrimination, and Genocide Prevention
*Resisting Authoritarianism: Human Rights, Democracy and the Dissident Movement
*Freedom of Expression and \”Defamation of Religion\”
*Bloggers for Freedom and the Internet\’s New Frontiers: Defending Democracy in Cyberspace
*Torture and Cruel and Inhuman Treatment
*And more…


The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma): Burmese political prisoners have been subjected to severe torture and cruel, degrading, and, inhumane treatment for many years under the oppressive military dictatorship… read more


The 1994 genocide in Rwanda led to the violent death of an estimated one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus in just 100 days… read more

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is an interfaith, public interest law firm protecting the free expression of all religious traditions… read more


The Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL, from its Spanish initials) is a private, non-profit, non-partisan NGO. Its main offices are in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with an additional office in Montevideo, Uruguay.

The Cuban Democratic Directorate (Directorio) is a non-profit organization that works for democracy in Cuba by way of a civic, nonviolent struggle.


The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project is designed to strengthen the work of HRDs in the region by reducing their vulnerability to the risk of persecution by enhancing their capacity to effectively defend human rights.

FONDATION GÉNÉREUSE DÉVELOPPEMENT: Fondation Généreuse Développement (FGD) is a nongovernmental Cameroonian organization, whose main aim is fighting poverty and for the respect of minorities’ rights. read more

Freedom House is an independent nongovernmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world… read more

Freedom Now is a non-governmental organization which represents and frees high-impact prisoners of conscience, whose cases represent a broader set of human-rights abuses in the country where they are detained… read more

Groupe des Anciens Etudiants Réscapés du Genocide) is an association without any lucrative goal and non-governmental…

The Global Zimbabwe Forum (GZF) is an international association based in Geneva, Switzerland. The GZF was launched as one of the key resolutions of the historic first ever international Zimbabwe Global Diaspora Conference held in Johannesburg in South Africa…

Human Rights Without Frontiers/ Droits de l’homme sans frontières is based in Brussels and has been in existence for 20 years…

IBUKA: Ibuka, which literally means « remember », is an umbrella organization including survivors’ associations and any other groups or individuals concerned about the fight against the genocide in Rwanda and, in particular, the rehabilitation of survivors and the Rwandese society in general…

IFLRY : – International Federation of Liberal Youth is the international umbrella organisation of liberal and radical political youth organisations. It stands for freedom, democracy, an economic system based on free market principles, and environmental sustainability. read more

Ingenieurs du Monde is an international NGO that works for the improvement of welfare and the development of populations from emerging and developing countries… read more

Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisémitisme Founded in 1927, LICRA is one of the oldest associations fighting against racism, anti-Semitism, and discriminations around the world… read more

SOS Racisme is an association that fights against all forms of racism and anti-Semitism…


UN Watch is a non-governmental organization based in Geneva whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter…
Also in support:

* Urgence Darfour –
* Genocide Watch –
* The International Campaign to End Genocide
* The International Association of Genocide Scholars –
* Inter-African Committee –
* Council for a Democratic Iran (CDI) –
* IGLYO – International lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer youth & student organisation –
* Genocide Prevention Month –


During the week of April 20-24, 2009, hundreds of world leaders, diplomats, and human rights activists will gather in Geneva for the United Nations Durban Review Conference on Racism, Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. Mired in controversy, the gathering known as Durban II is already one the most high profile U.N. events in history.

* With the eyes of the world focused on Geneva, who will guide the assembled government leaders to properly address the human rights issues and situations of discrimination around the globe that most require attention?One day before the Durban II conference opens, one thousand human rights activists will meet in the Geneva International Conference Center, right across the street from the U.N., for the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance, and Democracy, to hear some of the world’s most prominent human rights heroes, activists and dissidents—former prisoners of conscience Ahmed Batebi of Iran, Bo Kyi of Burma, Jose Castillo of Cuba, Saad Eddin Ibrahim of Egypt—along with genocide survivors, legal scholars, and world statesmen.Organized by a global coalition of human rights organizations—and dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention Against Genocide—the Geneva Summit will be a momentous event to define the human rights agenda on behalf of the millions of voiceless victims around the world who suffer from racism, discrimination, and persecution.

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