Digital Media in the Arab World – a year after the ‘not Facebook or Twitter revolutions’

The Arab region is experiencing a profound media shift, Jeffrey Ghannam* writes in a new report, Digital Media in the Arab World One Year After the Revolutions.

The year following the start of the Arab revolutions–in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and violent uprisings in Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain–was followed by continued repression and threats to the exercise of free expression online and offline. But the year also saw great strides in the numbers of Arabs across the region turning to social media platforms and the ascendancy of online engagement.

Yet these were not Facebook or Twitter revolutions, however much cyberutopians would like them to be. However, the Internet’s potential as a tool that can help the process of democratization is undeniable, and of course the Internet also can be used for oppression by authoritarian governments in the Arab world and elsewhere. The enabling impact of social media networks and platforms–and the resulting vortex of bloggers, activists, journalists, lay citizens, and satellite networks that help disseminate online content for the majority of Arabs who are not online–has been firmly established.

As the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions enter their second year, along with an increasingly violent uprising in Syria, the battle for Arab cyberspace continues to mature, and bloggers, regime critics, opposition activists, and journalists continue to confront the risks of arrest or other severe repercussions. Meanwhile, demands for greater freedom of expression and media independence continue to be a rallying point.

Key Findings:

  •  Tens of millions of online contributors are creating and sharing content and influencing the news and information channels throughout the region.
  • Digital media are enabling the blending of journalism, citizen journalism, media activism, and entertainment, often using various platforms, including traditional media, to reach and engage audiences. The common denominator is the use of digital technologies as platforms for news content and for engagement and mobilization.
  • While social media tools have enabled greater freedom of expression, Arab governments and religious groups, such as in Tunisia, are targeting journalists and bloggers, including a recent death threat, against one popular blogger for reporting on issues related to religion.
  • Following the revolutions, the battle for the Arab blogosphere has turned from being a competition over accessing the Internet and circumventing government controls to a cyberwar for the predominant narrative through Facebook, Twitter, and traditional media. Arab governments, and some political parties, are attempting to influence the narrative from the region, through the use of social media, cyberattacks, and Twitter trolls (persistent counter tweeters) against global critics.
  • Social media is reinvigorating traditional print and broadcast media, including satellite networks, which are adopting multi-platform strategies. While satellite networks are attracting millions of views and some print media are also attracting hundreds of thousands of “Likes” on Facebook, other satellite and print outlets have attracted relatively fewer followers.
  • Social media is serving as political cover: News outlets are recognizing the benefit of using social media to preempt official repercussions by disseminating sensitive stories first on social media sites and in other cases to gauge possible reaction before going to print or air.

Social media’s potential represents the brightest hope for greater freedom of expression in the Arab region, enabling tens of millions of people, and ultimately many more, to actively pursue civic engagement, free and fair elections, political accountability, the eradication of corruption, as well as free, independent, and pluralistic media in a rapidly changing media environment.

Arab governments, with support from the international community, will be expected to adapt to the changing Arab media landscape as increasing numbers of Arabs go online. The growing checks on government power and the role of media in the democratic process are among the most encouraging developments in the region’s contemporary history.

But the advances are not guaranteed. How successfully the emerging and legacy Arab governments reckon with digital technologies and the new media ecosystem propelled by the youth, journalists, citizen journalists, activists, as well as innovative transnational satellite networks and privately owned media outlets, may come to define the future of these governments and the region.

While the environment for freedom of the press and freedom of expression has improved, the potential impact of conservative majorities in Tunisia and Egypt and uprisings and protests elsewhere make clear that universally recognized protections will likely take time. Media environments may become more constrained than they were under deposed autocratic regimes, as greater official scrutiny and control is sought over what is said and disseminated online. Faced, however, with the reality that seeking absolute control of the Internet is futile, and that the critical mass of those who are demanding political, social, and economic change using digital media will likely find a way around the latest firewalls, a few Arab governments have recognized the benefits of using online platforms.

For now, it appears that the Arab cyberspace is primed to enable an evolving cyberwar, as emerging and legacy governments compete to influence the narratives unfolding across the region. For some governments and political parties, the attempts to dominate the narrative in any way possible may be an end in itself. The narrative in support of social change, however, appears inexorable, as evidenced by the growing numbers of Arabs online, millions of whom are influencing the news and information exchanges throughout the region and globally. It is their narrative, after all, that has also inspired protests and social movements around the world.

This is an extract from Digital Media in the Arab World One Year After the Revolutions (links added), published by the Center for International Media Assistance. CIMA is an initiative of the National Endowment for Democracy, the Washington-based democracy assistance group.

*Jeffrey Ghannam is a lawyer, writer, and development practitioner in Washington, DC, who has contributed widely to the analysis and debate over social media in the revolutions for CIMA, the Economist magazine debates, the Washington Post, the United Nations, Chicago Public Radio, and Frost Over the World, hosted by Sir David Frost. He served on the 2012 Freedom House committee analyzing freedom of the press in the Middle East and North Africa. Since 2001 he has served in numerous media development initiatives as a trainer and evaluator as well as a Knight International Journalism Fellow in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Qatar. A media law specialist, he instructed on the intersection of law and journalism and on war reporting as the Howard R. Marsh visiting professor in journalism at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. As a journalist, he was a staff writer and editor at the Detroit Free Press. He also served as a legal affairs writer at the American Bar Association Journal in Chicago, and was on staff at the New York Times in Washington, DC. He has contributed to the Boston Globe from Detroit and Time magazine in Cairo.

From wallflower to cheerleader: strategic visions for democratic India

While India may be “unique among post-Colonial states in successfully building a vibrant democracy that has withstood the test of time,” it has prioritized state sovereignty and security interests over promoting democracy and human rights.

But that may be about to change.

“If there is an ‘idea of India’ by which India should be defined,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (left) has suggested, “it is the idea of an inclusive, open, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual society.”

Consequently, India has “an obligation to history and mankind to show that pluralism worked,” he continued. “Liberal democracy is the natural order of political organization in today’s world. All alternate systems, authoritarian and majoritarian in varying degree, are an aberration.”

Yet New Delhi has tended to fall in line with most other emerging democracies, demonstrating an indifference to promoting democracy or, even worse, occasional disturbing tendencies to side with authoritarian regimes in international institutions.

But with Asia’s political alignments in flux, India’s democratic credentials will be a key component in each of three broad regional security scenarios, India analyst Maya Chadda writes in a report from the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, while Sadanand Dhume notes that New Delhi’s decision to vote against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council last week “marks a sharp break from the traditional Indian practice of not singling out individual countries for censure,” and may signal a “gradual transformation from a wallflower to a cheerleader for democracy.”

“One of the greatest political experiments of our time,” India is not only the world’s largest democracy, but also “a very diverse one with deep-seated differences of religion, ethnicity and regional identities,” Chadda notes in Strategic Visions for East Asia:

India’s democratic path is arguably more relevant to the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Middle East than the European road to modernization and democracy. India has developed a unique formula to balance individual and group rights, devolve federal power down to the village-level

(Panchayet Raj), and use its multiparty system as a grand bargain to reconcile differences over identities, interests, and office. In this sense, India’s democratic experiment is one of the greatest political experiments of our time.

It is also one of the world’s most dynamic economies, with growth rates comparable to those of China. While some observers identify India’s democratic character as an impediment to even faster growth and its market-driven economy as vulnerable to populist politics, recent analysis of India-wide voting patterns and growth rates suggest otherwise.

“Indians often wonder why their country didn’t grow as fast as Western liberal democracies did in the 19th century,” writes Barun Mitra, director of the Liberty Institute in New Delhi. “The answer is that though India became a pluralistic democracy in 1947, vigorous competition among parties only started in the late 1980s. Since then, as the economy has seen the best performance in its history, democracy finally started paying dividends.”

The consensus view for most of the past decade in India held that good economic policy did not make for good politics. New Delhi’s trade and investment openings since 1991 mostly benefited the middle class, while the poor in rural areas kept voting for corrupt politicians who promised more handouts. ….Last week’s election results in five Indian states turned the conventional wisdom on its head. Voters, especially in India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, resoundingly favored parties that promised development. The elites are still in a state of shock.

The lesson, Mitra suggests: “when political competition increases, and the prospect of electoral defeat looms, the parties pay much more attention to growth.”

It is an alternative model of democratic development that India “assumes critical weight” by deploying its “soft power asset” of liberal democracy in at least two ways:

….as a model or example (although perhaps not exemplary) of a viable federal, liberal, secular democracy and as a promoter of international democracy. India’s political path proves that a liberal democracy is possible in a tradition-bound, multi-ethnic, and poor society can be a solution to the problem of modernization and growth.

 “The second perspective is to see India’s democratic identity as a stepping stone to international alliances and collective diplomatic engagement,” Chadda contends. Democratic India can play a vital part in each of at least three broad security futures for Asia:

The first is a region divided along an opposite axis, a kind of Asian bipolar order in which the United States and China constitute the opposing poles;

The second hypothetical future revolves around an entente of great powers, a group of leading states that strive to keep order and preserve peace by rewarding those who toe the line and punish those who deviate from it.

The third future is akin to the order founded on the 1975 Helsinki agreement in Europe that established a normative consensus (claimed by states in Europe as a universal guide to international relations).

India benefits least from the first and third scenarios, Chadda argues.

“Joining an anti-China alliance is sure to provoke Beijing; not joining an alliance will mean isolation. As in the days of Cold War, India’s democratic credentials will have a limited role to play in the first future,” she writes, while “the possibility of creating an Asian Helsinki is remote given the force of nationalism and spread of ethnic conflicts across Asia’s borders.”

By contrast,…

In the second future, democracy and human rights do not become a means to exclude and punish recalcitrant regimes. Rather, it instead becomes instead an invitation to peacefully integrate into the new normative order and its rules of conduct. The Japanese proposal to build an “arc of freedom” or a “value-based alliance” is an attempt to construct a grand narrative for such a collective order. It has the immediate purpose of preempting the moral high ground and inviting China to join in the common platform, which automatically rules out expansionist or destabilizing policies.

Supported by a strategic alliance, the “arc of freedom” would enable powerful democratic states – the United States, Japan, India, Australia – to define a common set of interests such as freedom of international seas, protection of the environment, the war against terrorism, and open access to Asian markets, but it would also seek to prevent domination of Asia by China.

Premier Singh’s comments cited above “explicitly linked for the first time the Indian model of democracy to an alliance of democratic states in Asia; he saw it as India’s obligation to reject authoritarian alternatives to prosperity,” Chadda notes.  “In diplomatic parlance, this was a pointed reference to India as the alternative to China. As an authoritarian state, China could not become a core country in the proposed order for Asia.”

This strategic perspective helps explain that while India’s leaders “remain anxious not to get ahead of the current developments,” says Chadda, “they are keenly aware nevertheless of the advantages in establishing a loose alliance of democracies.”

It also helps elucidate New Delhi’s recent vote at the UN Human Rights Council which “ought to be seen as a harbinger of the future,” Dhunne asserts:

Fostering a democratic order in Asia matters because India’s most pressing challenges in its neighborhood come from authoritarianism. China’s best friends in the region include Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa regime and the Pakistani army. In Bangladesh and Pakistan, radical Islamists—often backed by like-minded military officers—threaten their own societies and regional stability. In each of these countries, as in Afghanistan, India has a vital stake in democracy taking root.

“Over time,” Dhunne argues, “the rise of an authoritarian China, the harsh realities of India’s neighborhood, and the logic of its domestic politics should nudge New Delhi to shed its historic bashfulness about standing up for democratic norms outside its borders. This gradual transformation from a wallflower to a cheerleader for democracy is in India’s self interest. And it will benefit the rest of Asia too.”

Arab League still struggling with the ‘D’ word?

When the Arab League convenes this week, it will meet in a constitutional democracy, Iraq, and will include a former Tunisian human rights activist, Moncef Marzouki, among its assembled heads of state, notes Tamara Cofman Wittesdirector of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. These are two of the least remarkable facts reflecting the rapid assimilation of democratic norms into the League and its member states over the past year.

In March 2004, the Arab Summit then scheduled in Tunis was cancelled at the last minute after acrimonious disagreements erupted between the governments over how to deal with the issue of democratic reform.

A declaration issued at the rescheduled meeting two months later committed the Arab leaders “To endeavor…to pursue reform and modernization in our countries, and to keep pace with the rapid world changes, by consolidating the democratic practice.” For the first time, the “D” word had appeared in an Arab League declaration, albeit as an adjective. But of course, this provision of the summit declaration proved as operative as the first provision, on the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. By next year’s summit, at least five of the League’s members will have prime ministers who emerged through democratic elections. How will the expansion of democratic practice among League members—and the League’s embrace of popular sovereignty as the basis for legitimacy—affect the organization’s future?

Khaled Elgindy gauges whether the League’s new diplomatic energy can generate serious responses to the region’s pronounced deficits, while Ken Pollack considers what it means for Iraq to host the summit, nine years after Saddam’s fall.

E-ngaging, e-mpowering leaders in new democracies

Pakistan is the latest state to pursue the creation of a national Internet filtering and blocking system, according to Reporters Without Borders, the media monitoring group.

The news follows recent revelations that the Islamic Republic of Iran is also trying to develop a closed national ‘net and ramping up its capacity to monitor, censor and contest cyberspace – with technical assistance from China.

After the Arab Spring demonstrated the utility of the Internet and social networks as tools for protest and mobilization, a predictable backlash by autocratic regimes generated a series of measures to contest cyberspace and subvert ‘liberation technology’ for repressive purposes.

Technology has had a variable impact: facilitating communications and empowering activists, while arguably nurturing a Facebook fallacy or ‘e-llusion’ that virtual networks of slacktivists are a viable alternative to grass roots organizing.

But new ICT can also both enhance politicians’ accountability and highlight the importance of interpersonal contact, as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently observed.

“There’s no substitute for good old-fashioned shoe leather,” she told The Economist:

It’s ironic, in a way, that we live in this cyber virtual reality. It’s almost as though people demand to see more of you than they did before because they want to make sure you’re not taking them for granted, that you really will listen to them, that you’ll see things from their perspective. So we’ve invested a lot in beginning to build relationships.

The LEND Network (Leaders Engaged in New Democracies) is the latest such investment.

Launched today in partnership with Estonia, the initiative aims to help leaders in emerging democracies access the experience and insights of counterparts who have successfully navigated transitions. Drawing on expertise from the Club of Madrid‘s (left) network of democratically elected former presidents and prime ministers, and 21st century technologies developed by Google and OpenText, the LEND Network “will augment face-to-face meetings with ongoing peer-to-peer exchanges via a secure virtual platform,” the US State Department announced today:

The project will deploy tools for online voice, video, and text communication along with new translation technology to address the cost and logistical barriers that have limited such efforts in the past.

The LEND Network fills a crucial need. Currently, there is no online platform to facilitate real-time information sharing between leaders in new democracies and leaders who have undergone democratic transitions. The Network will provide a global forum for exchanging information and expertise on democratization from more than twenty countries and support leaders as they work to build strong, accountable institutions and establish the rule of law.

Launched under the rubric of the Community of Democracies, a Working Group on the LEND Network will be led by Dr. Tomicah Tillemann, Secretary Clinton’s Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies, and Ambassador Merle Pajula, Director of Policy Planning for the Foreign Ministry of Estonia.

For more information, contact Jeff Holiday in the Office of the Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies at

North Korean human rights: is progress possible?

North Korea’s human rights record is a key factor in Washington’s policy toward the Communist state, said U.S. President Barack Obama.

“Improving human rights conditions is a top U.S. priority in our North Korea policy and it will have a significant impact on the prospect for closer U.S.-DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] ties,” he said.

Visiting South Korea for a Nuclear Security Summit, the president responded to questions submitted to an “Ask President Obama” forum via social media. “The United States remains deeply concerned about the well-being of the North Korean people, the human rights situation in the DPRK and the plight of North Korean refugees,” Obama said in response to a question from a North Korean defector living in the South.

“The United States has led efforts around the globe to call attention to the human rights situation in North Korea,” he said. “Your personal story of courage is remarkable and a testament to the possibility for North Koreans to lead lives in freedom and dignity.”

The uncertain leadership transition in Pyongyang is both a problem and an opportunity, Obama said over the weekend.

“As you have a leadership transition you have an opportunity for change, and for things to move in a different direction,” he said. “You also have an opportunity for bad habits to fester.”

North Korea’s record offers little encouragement that progress can be made on human rights, writes Brookings Institution analyst Roberta Cohen, co-chair of the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK):

Despite hopes, even predictions that Kim Jong Il’s death might usher in progress on human rights in North Korea, no change is yet discernible. North Korean defectors have long speculated that Kim Jong Un would not enjoy the same lockstep support commanded by his father and grandfather and might have to respond in some measure to popular needs and aspirations. The North Korean economy, moreover, might not survive without reform. Even though the government periodically clamps down on private market activity, the people, including some in the government, are increasingly showing themselves to be of a “market mentality.” Since they will not easily relinquish this reliance, it could pave the way toward greater economic freedom and ultimately political reform. New information technology is further eroding the isolation imposed by the regime.

Is this wishful thinking? Even assuming Kim Jong Un were inclined to promote change (a very big unknown), could he do it? He is surrounded by his father’s advisers and hard line repression continues while he consolidates his authority. As one expert put it, Kim Jong Un will not be able “to depart from his father’s legacy until he has fully established himself as the new ruler.” But “the longer he spends strengthening his position based on the same system of brutal repression, the less of a chance he will have to break away.” Arrests and purges have accompanied his ascension to power, reinforced by the support of those in the military, party and elite who stand to benefit from the regime’s continuation.

Tacit support has been given to Kim Jong Un by the international community. Wary of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal and aggressive stance toward the South, and fearful of possible refugee flows and instability, China, the United States and other countries have made ‘stability’ their principal objective. However, in the process of doing so, they have largely sidelined the equally compelling need for justice and human rights.

Of course, unexpected changes can take place in countries deemed unlikely for human rights reform. They may arise less from external pressure than from the ripening of conditions inside the country toward openness and change. Or they may arise from governmental steps to institute reforms to ensure the regime’s survival and secure international aid.

Nonetheless, it is important to identify the signs to look for when trying to gauge whether Pyongyang’s new leaders are ready to head in new directions:

  • Will North Korea take steps to establish a dialogue with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights?
  • Will North Korea invite for a visit the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the DPRK?
  • Will North Korea agree to implement any of the recommendations made at the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR)?
  • Will North Korea provide information to other human rights bodies?
  • Will North Korea amnesty political prisoners and make information available about those released?
  • Will North Korea allow the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the World Food Program (WFP) or UNICEF into the penal labor camps?
  • Will North Korea agree to release more abducted foreigners and give a full accounting of those held?
  • Will North Koreans continue to suffer severe punishment for leaving their country without permission?
  • Will North Korea introduce human rights education for its population and disseminate to schools, offices and institutions a Korean language text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and copies of the human rights treaties to which it has acceded?
  • Will North Korea allow food aid to reach the hungry and take steps to increase the health and nutritional status of its population?

Still, it cannot be ruled out that at some point, its new leaders may find it beneficial to distance themselves from the terrible excesses and cruelty of the Kim Jong Il regime in order to salvage its economy, gain support at home, improve its international image or reap the benefits of stronger ties with the international community. Disagreement may exist within the North Korean power structure about the future directions of the country. One way to test the intent and mettle of Kim Jong Un and his advisers is to examine their actions in light of the above criteria.

The above extract is from a longer analysis available at 38 North, a program of the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS (USKI), managed by Joel S. Wit, former U.S. State Department official and current USKI Visiting Scholar, and Jenny Town, USKI Research Associate. Feedback and questions can be directed to

Hidden Gulag: Exposing North Korea’s Political Prisoner Camp System & Calling for its Complete, Verifiable, and Irreversible Dismantlement

The US-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) holds a one-day conference in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, 10 April 2012, entitled “Hidden Gulag: Exposing North Korea’s Political Prisoner Camp System & Calling for Its Complete, Verifiable, and Irreversible Dismantlement”. The conference is organized together with the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, and will be hosted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics at the C. Fred Bergsten Conference Center (1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036).

Presenters include: Blaine Harden and Shin Dong-hyuk, authors of “Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West”, Kang Chol-hwan, author of “The Aquariums of Pyongyang”, and Gordon Chang, author of “Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World”.

Luncheon keynote addresses will be given by Ambassador Robert King, U.S. Special Envoy for North Human Rights, and Mr. Marzuki Darusman, UN Special Rapporteur on the North Korean Human Rights Situation.

Titles of the five panels are as follows:

1: Hidden Gulag 2: Born in the Hidden Gulag 3: Women and the Hidden Gulag 4: Lessons Learned from the Dismantlement of Nazi Concentration Camps and the Soviet Gulag 5: Seeking Legal and International Human Rights Remedies and Dealing with Prisoners’ Claims

For more information, please click on: draft conference agenda

Those wishing to attend should contact:

Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director Committee for Human Rights in North Korea 1001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 435 Washington, D.C. 20036 Phone (202) 499-7973

Presented by the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea and the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights


Program Agenda

8:00 a.m. Breakfast and registration

8:45 a.m. Welcoming remarks: Roberta Cohen, Chair, HRNK, Non-resident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution; Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director, HRNK.

9:00 a.m. Introductory remarks: Christopher Smith, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives (invited)

9:30 a.m. Panel 1:“Hidden Gulag”

U.S. presenter: David Hawk, Author, “Hidden Gulag First & Second Edition”

Korean presenter: Yeosang Yoon, President, North Korean Human Rights Archives, NKDB

U.S. discussant: Gordon Flake, Executive Committee Member, HRNK

Executive Director, The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation/HRNK

Korean discussant: Chanil An, President, World Federation of North Korean Refugees (WINK)

Moderator: Nicholas Eberstadt, Board Member, HRNK, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute

10:45 a.m. Coffee break

10:55 a.m. Panel 2: “Born in the Hidden Gulag”

Presenters: Blaine Harden, Author, Washington Post; Shin Dong-hyuk, Author, Former political prisoner

Korean discussant: Kang Chol-hwan, Author, “The Aquariums of Pyongyang”, President, North Korea Strategy Center

U.S. discussant: Gordon Chang, Author, “Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World”

Moderator: Marcus Noland, Board Member, HRNK, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute of International Economics

12:15 p.m. Book signing by Blaine Harden and Shin Dong-hyuk: “Escape from Camp 14”

12:30 p.m. Luncheon keynote addresses: Ambassador Robert King, U.S. Special Envoy for North Human Rights

2:00 p.m. Panel 3: “Women and the Hidden Gulag”

Korean Witnesses: Ms. Kim Hye-sook and Ms. Kim Young-soon, Former camp inmates

Korean presenter: Hyeonja Ku, Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB)

U.S. discussant: Melanie Kirkpatrick, Senior Fellow, The Hudson Institute

Korean discussant: Hanna Suh, The Hans Seidel Foundation

Moderator: Suzanne Scholte, Executive Committee Member, HRNK, President, The Defense Forum Foundation

3:15 p.m. Coffee break

3:30 p.m. Session 4: “Lessons Learned from the Dismantlement of Nazi Concentration Camps and the Soviet Gulag”

U.S. Presenter: Professor Anna Holian, Arizona State University

U.S. Presenter: Professor Steven Barnes, George Mason University

U.S. discussant: Robert Williams, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Korean discussant: Dr. Hyun-Jin Son, Korea Legislation Research Institute

Moderator: Carl Gershman, Board Member, HRNK, President, National Endowment for Democracy

4:30 p.m. Coffee break

4:45 p.m. Session 5: “Seeking Legal and International Human Rights Remedies and Dealing

with Prisoners’ Claims”

Korean presenter: Kim Tae-hoon, ROK National Human Rights Commission/North Korea Committee of the Korean Bar Association

U.S. presenter: Jared Genser, President, Freedom Now

Korean discussant: Roh Jeong-ho, Columbia University Law School/Center for Korean Legal Studies, Columbia University

U.S. discussant: T. Kumar, Director, International Advocacy, Amnesty International USA

Moderator: Felice Gaer, Director, Jacob Blaustein Institute

6:00 p.m. Wrap-up

6:15 p.m. Reception

Hosted by: Lisa Colarcucio, Board Member, HRNK, Advisor, Impact Investments; Andrew Natsios, Board Member, HRNK, Professor, Georgetown University, Former Administrator, USAID.

7:30 p.m. Program concludes.