Line-up of speakers for Oslo Freedom Forum 22-24 May 2017 – Zimbabwean speaker detained

February 2, 2017

Oslo Freedom Forum

The New York based Human Rights Foundation has announced the initial speaker lineup for its 2017 Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF), taking place 22-24 May 2017 in Oslo. It includes quite a few well-known human rights defenders [the names are linked to short CVs]:

The attendance of the last one has become already problematic as the Human Rights Foundation reported on 1 February 2017) his arrest. According to news sources, Mawarire was detained at Harare International Airport. His attorney, Harrison Nkomo, has stated that it is likely that Mawarire will be charged with “trying to overthrow a constitutionally elected government” for his role in last year’s peaceful protests against police brutality and the economic crisis in Zimbabwe. “Today’s arbitrary arrest of Evan Mawarire is one incident in a pattern of repression faced by civil society leaders under authoritarian governments like Zimbabwe’s,” said HRF president Thor Halvorssen. [Last year, Mawarire’s #ThisFlag movement asked Zimbabweans to stay home instead of going to work, which caused the shutdowns of offices, schools, and banks. The movement protested against government corruption and extortion, police brutality, and the country’s dire economic situation. Soon after, Mawarire was arrested and charged with “inciting public disorder,” but the prosecution then added the more severe charge of subversion on the day of his trial without notifying his legal counsel. During the trial, a magistrate judge ruled it unconstitutional for the prosecution to bring new charges in court and acquitted Mawarire of all charges. However, because the acquittal rested upon a procedural matter, Mawarire was uncertain whether he could be arrested on the same incitement and subversion charges in the future.] See also his profile on Front Line Defenders: https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/evan-mawarire

If you are interested in participating in the OFF, you can apply to attend online. The 2017 program includes a Tech Lab, where companies will share their latest tools with conference participants to help them communicate more securely and push back against censorship and surveillance. The program will also feature an Interactive Expo, where human rights groups, artists, brands, designers, and companies can feature their work and build new partnerships. Other events include a workshop series, interactive art, live music and comedy, and a weekend of free public events in downtown Oslo. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2015/05/26/today-you-can-watch-the-oslo-freedom-forum-via-live-streaming/]

https://humanrightsfoundation.org/news/zimbabwe-arrests-evangelical-pastor-on-return-from-new-york-00611?utm_content=&utm_source=VerticalResponse&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=here&utm_campaign=Zimbabwe%20Arrests%20Evangelical%20Pastor%20on%20Return%20from%20New%20York

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