Issue 515

Nigerian Girl Escaped from Boko Haram to Headline UN Watch’s 7th Annual Human Rights Summit

Also featuring: Leaders of protest movements and top dissidents from Iran, Ukraine, Turkey, Venezuela, North Korea, and more

Save the Date:  February 24, 2015

GENEVA, December 3, 2014 – The kidnapping of nearly 300 girls by Boko Haram in Nigeria will be spotlighted at the seat of the U.N. Human Rights Council, when one of the escaped students will speak out for the first time, joining top-name dissidents from Iran, North Korea, Turkey, Venezuela and Ukraine, for the 7th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, on February 24, 2015. See selected list of presenters below.

The acclaimed annual conference is timed to take place in Geneva days before foreign ministers gather to open the 2015 U.N. Human Rights Council session, expected to be chaired by Germany.

“It’s a focal point for dissidents worldwide,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, which for the seventh year in a row will be organizing the annual event together with a cross-regional coalition of 20 other human rights groups.

The global gathering is acclaimed as a one-stop opportunity to hear from and meet front-line human rights advocates, many of whom have personally suffered imprisonment and torture.

“The speakers’ compelling and vivid testimonies will stand in sharp contrast to the council’s diplomatic haggling over draft resolutions and reports on human rights situations around the world,” said Neuer.
Subjects on the program include discrimination against women, jailing of journalists, prison camps, Internet freedom, religious intolerance, and the persecution of human rights defenders.

Videos of past speaker testimonies are available at

Admission to this year’s February 24, 2015 summit is free and open to the public, but registration is mandatory. For accreditation, program and schedule information, visit

Presenters include:

“I survived North Korean atrocities”Yeonmi Park escaped North Korea as a young child and witnessed first-hand the regime’s atrocities against its own people.
Ukraine after EuromaidanMustafa Nayyem, whose summons to rally on Facebook on November 21, 2013 sparked the Euromaidan protests, is a Ukrainian journalist recently elected to Parliament, and the recipient of the Wilson Center’s 2014 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award.
Defending Democracy in VenezuelaMaria Corina Machado won election to Venezuela’s National Assembly with the highest percentage of any candidate, and has more than 2 million followers on Twitter. In March of this year, the Maduro regime expelled her from parliament, falsely accusing her of incitement, treason, murder and criminal conspiracy.
How Thousands of Iranian Women Defied Hijab Law on FacebookMasij Alinejad, an award-winning Iranian journalist, is the creator of the widely-reported “My Stealthy Freedom” Facebook page, which encourages Iranian women to upload images of themselves without the mandatory hijab, and has garnered more than 700,000 Likes. In an essay in Time Magazine, Ms. Alinejad told of Iran’s massive campaign to smear her.
 The State of Media Freedom in TurkeyYavuz Baydar, a prominent Turkish journalist, received the Special Award of the European Press Prize in 2014 for his fight against censorship and defense of professional values in Turkey.
Organized by UN Watch together with a cross-regional coalition of 20 other human rights NGOs.

On the eve of the U.N. Human Rights Council’s 2015 session, courageous champions of human rights from around the world will unite to place urgent situations on the international agenda.

February 24, 2015 Centre International de Conférences Genève 17 rue de Varembé, 1202 Geneva

Register now:

 Interprétation simultanée en français 



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