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Human Rights Summit

Tomorrow Human Rights First will host its fifth annual Human Rights Summit at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The afternoon event brings together activists and leaders from government, business, the military, and faith communities to discuss today’s most pressing human rights problems and challenges for American leadership. Timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the summit has become Washington’s premier celebration of Human Rights Day—a call to action for American leadership in defense of freedom and democracy, at home and around the world. We hope you will join the conversation in person or online via our livestream. This year’s program will feature General Carter Ham, U.S. Army (Ret.), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), U.S. Ambassador William B. Taylor Jr., General Charles C. Krulak, USMC (Ret.), and will honor Janvier Murairi Bakihanaye of the Democratic Republic of Congo with the the Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty. To view tomorrow’s agenda and register to attend the 2016 Human Rights Summit, click here.

Advocates and Allies in the Global Equality Movement: A Celebration of Human Rights Day

Tonight Human Rights First and Human Rights Campaign will honor advocates and allies from around the world as we celebrate advances and mark continuing challenges facing LGBTQ communities globally. This year we will honor Caleb Orozco, executive director of United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) and lead plaintiff in the landmark case that overturned Belize’s sodomy law, and Olena Hloba, co-founder of Parents Initiative Tergo, an ally organization of parents of LGBT people in Ukraine. For more information on the event and to register to attend, click here.


Proceedings resume this week in the case against the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing, Abd al Rahim al Nashiri. Items on the docket include defense motions to compel discovery, defense motions to abate proceedings, and a government motion to bar the defense team from accessing classified government systems.

The hearings come directly after last week’s U.S. military commission proceedings in the case against the 9/11 co-conspirators, including accused mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammad. Human Rights First was on base to attend the motion hearings and will continue to attend and report on the Nashiri hearings this week.

Quote of the Week

“Far too many people around the world are still denied their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and we must work to end the discrimination that is too often felt by LGBT individuals, people with disabilities, immigrants, women and girls of all ages, and members of religious, ethnic, and other minorities. And we must strengthen our ongoing efforts to rid the world of violence, oppression, and hatred.

“Our relationships to one another — person to person, nation to nation — are defined not by our differences, but by our shared belief in the ideals enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As we observe the anniversary of the affirmation that inalienable rights exist for every individual, we vow to ensure these rights are afforded to every person. Together, let us continue striving to stamp out all forms of injustice and promote dignity, humanity, and respect around the world.”

—President Barack Obama, December 9, 2016.

We’re Reading

The Hill discusses the recent White House report on the administration’s military force rules.

The Guardian writes about President Obama urging the next administration to avoid overreach during his final address on counterterrorism.

The Washington Free Beacon reports on veterans who see a potential advocate for the Special Immigrant Visa program (SIV) for Afghans.

The Hill writes on the release of several hundred children and families from immigration detention following a favorable court ruling in Texas.

Brian Dooley writes in The Hill about how the United States can protect human rights activists.

Reuters reports that President-elect Trump’s immigration plan could help those he wants to deport.

Around Town

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold an event entitled, “Russian National Identity and Foreign Policy.” The event will feature Igor Zevelev, Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Wilson Center; Olga Oliker, Senior Adviser and Director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at CSIS. 10:00 AM, CSIS Headquarters, 1616 Rhode Island Avenue NW, First Floor Conference Room, Washington, D.C.

The Brookings Institution will hold an event entitled, “U.S. Security Assistance and Human Rights.” The event will feature Ted Piccone, Senior Fellow on Foreign Policy, the Latin America Initiative, and the Project on International Order and Strategy at Brookings; Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the US Department of State; Daniel Byman, Senior Fellow of Foreign Policy and the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings10:00 AM, Brookings Institution, Saul/Zilkha Rooms, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, D.C.