Apr. 7, 2014 | Press Releases

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Steven Pinker, Yoani Sánchez, Jimmy Wales to Headline 2014 Oslo Freedom Forum

OSLO (April 7, 2014)—Former Russian political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Harvard neuroscientist Steven Pinker, Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, American actor Jeffrey Wright, and iconic Turkish protestor Erdem Gunduz will join 25 other remarkable speakers at the 2014 Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF), taking place May 12-14 in Norway. Organized by the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), the sixth annual OFF will bring together a diverse and global audience to share experiences and discuss how to best promote free and open societies.

"This year's speakers are a testament to the astonishing diversity of individuals working to advance human rights and stand up to tyranny and corruption," said HRF chairman Garry Kasparov. "Hackers, dissidents, philanthropists, protestors, artists, engineers, executives—are all uniting in one place for an immersive three-day brainstorming session."

The 2014 lineup includes Norwegian foreign minister Børge Brende; Iranian hip-hop artist Shahin Najafi; Russian author Masha Gessen; Moroccan author and gay rights advocate Abdellah Taia; Silent Circle co-founder and encryption technologist Jon Callas; Mexican journalist Marcela Turati; Stanford political scientist Larry Diamond; North Korean defector Hyeonseo Lee; Tunisian democratic activist Amira Yahyaoui; and Danish journalist Flemming Rose. They will be joined by participants from China, Ecuador, The Gambia, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Ukraine.

OFF will feature three days of talks, debates, performances, and workshops on topics like personal security, crowd-funding, and viral video. Programming will pay special attention to the surveillance state and the criminalization of free speech as paramount challenges for today's human rights community. The conference will close on Wednesday, May 14 at 4:00pm Central European Time with the presentation of the 2014 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent.

OFF will be live streamed beginning at 9:30am Central European Time on Tuesday, May 13. For updates, please follow OFF on TwitterGoogle +, and Facebook. Videos of past speakers—including Václav Havel, Shirin Ebadi, Mario Vargas Llosa, Leymah Gbowee, Chen Guangcheng, Somaly Mam, Manal al-Sharif, Anwar Ibrahim, Mona Eltahawy, and Elie Wiesel—can be found here.

OFF is produced by the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), a New York-based nonprofit devoted to defending human rights globally, and is made possible in part by the contributions of the Brin Wojcicki Foundation, the City of Oslo, Fritt Ord, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Thiel Foundation.

For media, registration, or sponsorship inquiries please contact Alex Gladstein at alex@oslofreedomforum.com.