"We Have a Dream" Global Summit against Discrimination and Persecution

NEW YORK,- A coalition of human rights NGOsheld a major summit in New York on September 21-22, 2011 to impress upon world leaders gathering for the UN General Assembly that "human rights are universal."

We Have A Dream: The Global Summit Against Discrimination and Persecution held next to UN Headquarters in New York at the same time as the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly and the 10th anniversary commemoration of the UN’s Durban conference on racism, discrimination and xenophobia.

Bringing together prominent dissidents and human rights activists from countries with some of the most abysmal human rights records—including China, Syria, Sudan, Zimbabwe, North Korea and Iran—the conference will produce draft UN resolutions for world leaders to adopt on governments that commit genocide, torture, discrimination, and systematically violate civil, religious and political freedoms.

Rebiya Kadeer is one of the most prominent Uyghur dissidents. She is a businesswoman and political activist from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in the People’s Republic of China. Like many, she was victim of the Cultural Revolution’s purges, being charged with “speculation”.

In the 1990s, her business activities made her one of China’s five wealthiest individuals. In 1997, however, she openly criticized the Chinese government after a series of demonstrations that were brutally repressed by China’s People Liberation Army. She was later imprisoned in 1999, spending two years in solitary confinement and finally being released in 2005 into the custody of the United States, where she still lives today.

Since 2006, she is the President of the World Uyghur Congress.