The underlying dilemma: Azerbaijan and Belarus in the spotlight | Den norske Helsingforskomité

The underlying dilemma: Azerbaijan and Belarus in the spotlight

The underlying dilemma: Azerbaijan and Belarus in the spotlight

How can we combine the agenda of bilateral business relations with the active promotion and defense of human rights?

Time: 8 June, 2011, 09:00 – 11:00

Place: Fritt Ord, Uranienborgveien 2, Oslo.

Please register at: nielsen@nhc.no

Globalisation means increased business relations not only with developed democracies but also with states with serious challenges in the field of corruption and human rights. How do the two go together? Foreign companies investing in Russia have felt the consequences of the absence of rule of law in Russia. Do increased business relations open up a space for communication about human rights or does it on the contrary make it difficult to bring it up because too much is at stake? Both Azerbaijan and Belarus have been through a several months of severe human rights abuse but the international reactions have been very different. We have gathered prominent guests to discuss the dilemmas.

Program:

• Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General, Norwegian Helsinki Committee. Opening remarks.

• Khadija Ismayilova, freelance journalist, Azerbaijan. Will talk about the experiences from oil-rich Azerbaijan.

• Bill Browder, CEO Hermitage Capital Management. The Magnitsky case.

• Tom Mayne, researcher, Global Witness. The link between natural resources and human rights abuse and the strategy of Global Witness.

• Yury Dzhibladze, President, Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights, Russia. The Belarusian experience.

• Debate

The seminar will be held in English and be chaired by Secretary general Bjørn Engesland, Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

 

More about the speakers:

 

• Khadija Ismayilova, freelance journalist, Azerbaijan. Khadija is formerly editor of the Azerbaijani service of the Radio Free Europe and has written extensively about Azerbaijani politics and human rights.

• Bill Browder is the CEO and co-founder of the investment fund Hermitage Capital Management, previously represented in Russia. In November 2008 one of his lawyers, Sergei Magnitsky, was arrested on charges of tax evasion, which Browder claims were instigated as a retaliatory measure by the same officers Magnitsky had accused of involvement in the $230 million theft in sworn testimony. Sergei Magnitsky died in pre-trial detention and Browder has since fought for the justice for Sergei.

• Tom Mayne, researcher, Global Witness. Global Witness has run pioneering campaigns against natural resource-related conflict and corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses in many countries. Tom has focused on Azerbaijan and Central Asia.

• Yury Dzhibladze is President of the Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights, and has been deeply engaged the last five months in the monitoring of the human rights development in Belarus. He is a member of the Council on Civil Society and Human Rights with the President of Russia, a member of the Expert Council of the Ombudsman of Russia, a member of the International Steering Committee of the Community of Democracies and, until recently, a member of the Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy.

• Bjørn Engesland has been the Secretary general of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee since 1996. He has a master’s degree in law and has formerly been employed at the Norwegian Institute for Human Rights. Bjørn is a member of the board of the Institute for Human Rights and a member of the council of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights .

 

Amendments to the program may occur.

Next seminar:

On 9 June the Norwegian Helsinki Committee organises a seminar devoted to Kazakhstan in connection with the visit of the Kazakhstani Ombudsman to Norway. You will receive a separate invitation to this seminar shortly. The seminar will be held at Fritt Ord, Uranienborgveien 2 from 15:00-17:00