Oslo Scholars Presents the College Freedom Forum

Date & Time November 5, 2013 5:00pm
Cohen Auditorium
Oslo Scholars

A joint initiative of the Human Rights Foundation and the Institute for Global Leadership, the College Freedom Forum (CFF) at Tufts University brings the Oslo Freedom Forum experience to college campuses and university audiences. The Oslo Freedom Forum is an annual summit of activists, business leaders, media, technologists, artists, world leaders, and policymakers who gather in Norway each spring to exchange ideas on how to better promote and protect human rights globally.

CFF will share this experience with the Tufts University community in a one-evening event featuring five speakers from around the world who will give inspiring talks and sit for a question and answer session with the audience. Admission to CFF at Tufts is free. Pizza will be served from 5:00-5:45pm—talks will follow at 6:00pm. 

“A bit like Comic-Con, only the heroes are real” – Vice 
"A Davos for revolutionaries" - The Guardian
"A human rights festival that attracts brave and enterprising opponents of despotism from all over the world" - The Economist.
“If the global human rights movement were to create its own unified representative body, it would look something like this” – Wired
“A conference that gives the people who challenge repressive regimes a platform to speak” – Al Jazeera

College Freedom Forum Speakers:

Abeer Allam
An Egyptian journalist and the Gulf news editor for the Financial Times, Allam holds a master's in journalism from Columbia University, and has previously reported for Bloomberg and the New York Times before joining the Financial Times as its Saudi Arabia correspondent in 2008. Throughout her career, Allam has covered major social and political events in the Arab world. Currently based in the United Arab Emirates, Allam’s recent reporting has focused on the impact throughout the Middle East of the Egyptian military coup and the conflict in Syria.

Tutu Alicante
A human rights lawyer from the island of Annobón in Equatorial Guinea, Alicante is the executive director of EG Justice, the world’s first NGO focusing on human rights in Equatorial Guinea. The people of that country have endured two of Africa’s cruelest dictatorships since gaining independence from Spain in 1968. Despite a per capita income on par with France and Japan, more than 75% of Equatorial Guinea’s citizens live in abject poverty on less than two dollars a day, and one man—Teodoro Obiang—has held absolute rule since 1979. Alicante is an influential critic of the Obiang regime, and a leading organizer of the country’s diaspora movement.

Ahmed Benchemsi
A Moroccan journalist and media entrepreneur, Benchemsi is founder of the new online journalism platform FreeArabs.com. He was previously the publisher and editor of Morocco's two best-selling newsweeklies, TelQuel (French) and Nishan (Arabic), and received awards from the European Union for his work on the cult of personality surrounding Morocco's king. For his investigative work, Benchemsi has been sued, interrogated, and threatened with death. A visiting scholar at Stanford University, his current research is focused on the democratic grassroots movement burgeoning in the Arab world.

Marina Nemat
An Iranian author and former prisoner of conscience, Nemat was imprisoned at the age of 16 for criticizing Ayatollah Khomeni’s regime. During two years in Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison, she was interrogated, tortured, and raped by a prison guard who she was coerced to marry. After the guard was killed, Nemat was released and fled to Canada. Prisoner of Tehran, her memoir, was published in 2007, and became an international bestseller; it is currently being made into a film. Nemat’s second book—After Tehran, A Life Reclaimed—was published in 2010, and recounts her struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and survivor's guilt after her release from prison.

Hannah Song
The president and CEO of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), Song heads an international nonprofit organization that raises awareness of the North Korean human rights crisis and provides direct resettlement support to North Korean refugee communities. Prior to joining LiNK, Song worked in corporate advertising. After reading the memoirs of refugees and survivors of North Korean gulags, Song dedicated her work to improving the plight of North Koreans. As president of LiNK, Song directs all overseas and field operations, and works on advocacy and policy issues with governments and institutions. In 2009, she was selected as a NetKAL fellow at University of Southern California’s School of Social Work.

Check out photos from the event here!