Oslo Freedom Forum Ended
The Oslo Freedom Forum was held May 18-20, 2009, in Oslo, Norway. This conference brought together some of the world’s leading minds to honor heroic survivors of political oppression and persecution—men and women who risked their lives for freedom.
The conference runned from May 18-20, 2009 and participants from world political leaders, NGO heads, philanthropists, field experts in human rights, and the authors who helped create a literature of suffering and survival which continues to inspire human rights defenders everywhere today. The initiator was the US based Human Rights Foundation, and Norway’s Civita, the Washington DC-based Human Rights Action Center, the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, the Washington DC-based Laogai Research Foundation, and the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders was the partners of forum initiator.
The conference included participants more than thirty countries including: Chechen Republic Ichkeria, Norway, United States of America, China, Russia, Venezuela, Mauritania, Japan, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Cuba, Lithuania, Vietnam, Bolivia, Germany, Chad, Uzbekistan, Ecuador, Sweden, Jordan, Romania, Guatemala, France, North Korea, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Belarus, Argentina, the Republic of Korea, and Poland.
Including of main speakers at the forum are Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York; Elena Bonner and Vladimir Bukovsky, both of who braved years of Soviet brutality; Harry Wu, who endured 19 years in Chairman Mao’s Laogai; Buddhist monk Palden Gyatso, who spent 33 years in a Tibetan prison; Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel, who became a Nobel Laureate; Kang Chol-Hwan, who was sent to prison by Kim Il Sung at the age of nine; Armando Valladares, who suffered 22 years in Fidel Castro’s political prisons; and Ramón José Velásquez, who was imprisoned by Venezuelan dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez.
In addition to the authors attending, the Oslo Freedom Forum included dozens of men and women on the frontlines of the struggle for human rights and against authoritarianism. Noted participants include The ex-Foreign Minister of Chechen Republic Ichkeria Akhmad Zakayev; Darfurian doctor Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah; former Romanian President Emil Constantinescu; Reporters Without Borders Secretary General Jean-François Julliard; former Lithuanian Head of State Vytautas Landsbergis; UN Deputy High Comissioner for Refugees Craig Johnstone; Venezuelan democracy activist Leopoldo Lopez; human rights pioneer Jack Healey; bestselling author and social entrepreneur Greg Mortenson; Director of Anti-Slavery International Aidan McQuade; Belarusian human rights champion Aliaksandr Bialiatski; North Korean defector and human rights activist Park Sang Hak, and business mogul Peter Thiel.
This conference brought a great opportunity for the Chechens. The ex-Foreign Minister of Chechen Republic Ichkeria Akhmad Zakaev and the ex-First Deputy of Foreign Minister of Chechen Republic Ichkeria Usman Ferzauli could speak with the participants of conference face to face. They explained to real situation in Chechnya and also want their help for solve to problems of Chechen nation.