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Geneva Summit for Human Rights to see scores of recently-released political prisoners at UN
Thursday 16 February 2017 16:02

From Monday 20th February the annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, co-hosted by Liberal International, will see more recently released political prisoners assemble at the United Nations than ever-before. As part of the programme, LI is pleased to announce the addition of a fourth liberal participant to the event: outgoing OSCE Commissioner for National Minorities, Astrid Thors.

The Summit which is co-hosted by LI alongside 24 other organisations including the International Federation of Liberal Youth (LI full-member) will see Commissioner Thors deliver the concluding remarks of the event during its opening session at the United Nations and present the 2017 Geneva Summit Courage Award to former (and first democratically elected) President of the Maldives and the country’s leading human rights activist currently living in an exile in the UK Mohamed Nasheed.

Head of LI Human Rights Programme Tamara Dancheva will present the 2017 Geneva Summit Women's Rights Award to Shirin: an Iraqi Yazidi who was captured and sexually enslaved by the Islamic State and who has recently released a chronicle detailing her wrenching story into the recently published book I Remain a Daughter of the Light.

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Chair of the Philippines Human Rights Commission and Member of the LI Human Rights Committee (LI HRC) Chito Gascon will speak alongside Commissioner Thors delivering the keynote remarks of the Summit's opening at the United Nations and also deliver a testimony during the main session of the event slamming President Rodrigo Duterte's policy of extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines. This follows the recent announcement by Mr Gascon that the human rights watchdog led by him will investigate claims by the President that he personally killed suspects involved in drug dealing while mayor of Davao.

Vice-President of the Africa Liberal Network, a leader of the Congolese opposition and LI HRC Member Medard Mulangala will stress the urgency of responding to the volatile situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo following a decision by the Electoral Commission to delay the scheduling of Presidential elections in the country. In essence this means paving the way for the incumbent president, Joseph Kabila, to stand for an unconstitutional third term. 

Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Dr. Irwin Cotler (LPC, LI full-member) will also speak at the event concentrating on some of his recent human rights work not least his efforts to secure the release of 2017 LI Prize for Freedom Laureate and jailed Saudi liberal blogger Raif Badawi.

The Geneva Summit will be live-streamed on Tuesday, 21 February, on the official website of the event which can be accessed by clicking here.

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