議報就臺灣自由論壇設想人權基金會首席戰略官阿萊克斯·格拉斯特因

 

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雪笠:是否可請您向我們的讀者簡要介紹一下人權基金會,特別是人權基金會主辦的奧斯陸自由論壇?

阿萊克斯:人權基金會是一個位處紐約的非營利機構,旨在全球範圍內提升人權,並特別聚焦於封閉社會。我們成立於2005年,2006年起開始運作,今年已經是我們人權項目的十周年。我們是全世界唯一一家對獨裁統治及其危機予以特別關註的機構。人權基金會的活動包括對獨裁統治的公共抗議;在封閉社會內部提升教育水平和信息流通;對受迫害個體和公民社會組織的法律援助;以及舉辦一系列活動,將各行各業的人們團結起來,討論如何使世界變得更和平,更繁榮,更自由。奧斯陸論壇於2009年成立於挪威,也是我們的旗幟性會議。論壇上,異見人士和人權活動家們齊聚一堂,分享交流他們的抗爭經驗。商業領袖、技術專家、慈善家、學者和政策制定者們也會到場。

 

雪笠:我聽說,奧斯陸自由論壇也許是世界上最高規格的人權會議。是這樣嗎?為什麽?

阿萊克斯:許多人已經從媒體聽說了奧斯陸自由論壇。這個大會已經被《紐約時報》、《BBC新聞》、《經濟學人》、美國有線電視新聞網、《每日野獸》、《衛報》、西班牙《國家報》、意大利《晚郵報》、《外交政策》、《連線》、半島電視台、《華爾街日報》、《大西洋月刊》、《技術之聲》、彭博新聞社,《金融時報》,以及其它許多國家的多語種媒體報道。這個論壇有時被稱為「異見人士的達沃斯」或是「革命者的達沃斯」,以及「人權達沃斯」。在絕大多數人權會議中,「專家」或是政府官員們登台演講。在奧斯陸自由論壇,活動家和異見人士們則是演講者和教導者,這使參與的媒體獲得了別樣的有趣體驗。在一個擁有許多大型會議的世界——如同世界經濟論壇或是克林頓全球基金會——這些會議都有獨裁者資助,並有他們登台演說,自由論壇力主站出來挑戰他們的規矩,並曝光他們的腐朽。

 

雪笠:歷屆自由論壇論壇的演講者和參與者都有哪些?

阿萊克斯:每一年的奧斯陸自由論壇,人權基金會都會邀請大約30名演講者。在奧斯陸論壇八年的歷史中,演講者有緬甸反對人士昂山素季,中國律師陳光誠,埃及喜劇演員巴西姆·尤素夫,維基百科創始人傑米·威爾什,伊朗諾貝爾獎得主西林·艾芭迪,秘魯諾貝爾獎得主馬裏奧·瓦加斯·略薩,兩名挪威外交大臣,利比裏亞諾貝爾獎得主雷馬赫·葛博偉,巴基斯坦奧斯卡獎得主、電影制作者夏爾米恩·奧比亞德-齊奧尼,馬來西亞反對領袖安瓦爾·易卜拉欣,尼日利亞諾貝爾獎得主索因卡,北韓脫北者姜哲煥、樸恩美、李軒秀,西藏流亡政府總理,維吾爾領袖熱比婭,沙特女權活動家瑪娜爾·沙裏夫,俄羅斯國際象棋大師加裏·卡斯帕羅夫,哈佛大學認知科學家史蒂文·平克,古巴博主約阿妮·桑切斯,史丹佛大學政治科學家拉裏·戴蒙德,波蘭諾貝爾獎得主萊赫·瓦蕾莎,俄羅斯朋克搖滾音樂組合「造反貓咪」,中國作家張戎,委內瑞拉反對領袖列奧波爾多·洛佩斯,谷歌、YouTube和推特管理層,當然還有楊建利博士。參與者則包括商界領袖,慈善界人士,政策制定者,技術專家,媒體人士,學術界人士,政治人物。他們濟濟一堂,學習並了解如何在當今世界最好地提升人權,研擬如何決策才可以使我們最有效地挑戰獨裁統治。

    

雪笠:你們此次台灣之行的使命是什麽?為什麽你們選擇台灣作為下屆自由論壇的舉辦地?

阿萊克斯:人權基金會此次台灣之行的使命是會晤台灣各種旨在提升人權和民主的公民團體領導人。我們還將與中華民國的政府官員、商界領袖、媒體人士、學者,以及其他有興趣推動台灣自由論壇的人會面。我們的目標是:在公民力量協助下,於接下來的十二個月裡組織發起一場自由論壇。人權基金會已在歐洲、北美和拉美成功組織了多次類似的自由論壇——我們的下一個目標是在東亞也舉辦這樣的自由論壇——東亞有許多地點可以考慮,包括首爾和東京——但台北成為我們的最佳選擇,這是考慮到台灣人民與人權和民主的連結,也考慮到當下中華民國政府對政治自由的積極態度。一個台灣自由論壇對於整個亞洲的民主活動家們而言,將會是一個非常有效的資源,也將是一個絕佳的活動地點——在這裡,他們可以分享他們的抗爭故事,接受援助和指導。

 

雪笠:你們預期,自由論壇將給台灣帶來怎樣的影響?你們對中華民國政府、台灣的公民社會有怎樣的期待?

阿萊克斯:舉辦台灣自由論壇,將為台灣島和中華民國政府帶來一次重量級的國際關註。有許多人將會好奇,為何那裏會有如此與日偕新的人權關註。這次論壇將吸引不同領域的世界領袖訪問台灣,並開始建設新的聯系網絡。人權基金會希望在台灣找到合作夥伴,不管是政府、商業團體,還是公民社會組織。如果我們回眸奧斯陸和舊金山舉辦過的自由論壇,那麽台灣和台北市將從舉辦自由論壇中獲益良多。我們的目標將是幫助這座城市和這座島嶼成為亞洲人權之都。

 

雪笠:您剛才提到希望在公民力量協作下在臺灣發起下一屆自由論壇。請問與公民力量的合作,將在你們的總體工作和此次台灣之行中扮演何種角色?

阿萊克斯:此次台灣之行,人權基金會將與楊建利博士同行。我們將一同推進台灣自由論壇的計劃和準備工作。我們熱切盼望與公民力量合作,他們是我們的合作夥伴。我們非常榮幸與楊建利博士相識已久——五年前人權基金會第一次邀請他在奧斯陸自由論壇演講,從此我們就與他和他的同事們在各種民主行動和公民事件、以及旨在提升人權民主的新聞報道中精誠合作,斬獲頗豐。此次台灣之行,楊建利博士(基於他在中國大陸的抗爭經驗)將提供他的一手知識:人權的重要性,以及抗爭獨裁統治的關鍵要素。他相信,台灣將成為自由論壇的一大家園,我們也熱切盼望能與他通力協作,使之實現。

 

註:台灣自由論壇設想推動團隊美國人權基金會主席 Thor Halvorssens, 資深顧問、公民力量創辦人楊建利博士,美國人權基金會戰略規劃主任Alex Gladstein 將於89-12日訪問台灣,就台灣自由論壇設想拜訪台灣各界。有意採訪者請聯繫張采宣小姐,她的手機號碼是0987142530,也可以直接與楊建利博士聯繫 yangjianli001@gmail.com

 

專訪英文原文

Human Rights Foundation eying Taipei as host of Freedom Forum in Asia —— An Interview with HRF CSO Alex Gladstein


Adela Lan: May you please briefly introduce to our readers HRF, its work, especially the Oslo Freedom Forum?

Alex Gladstein: Human Rights Foundation is a New York-based non-profit organization that focuses on promoting human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies. We were founded in 2005 and began operations in 2006, making this year our 10th year of programs. We are one of the world’s only organizations focused exclusively on the crisis of dictatorship. HRF’s activities include public advocacy about the nature of dictatorship; the promotion of education and information inside closed societies; legal support for persecuted individuals and civil society organizations; and the production of events that seek to bring people together from all walks of life to discuss how to make the world a more peaceful, prosperous, and free place. The Oslo Freedom Forum, launched in Norway in 2009, is our flagship conference, where dissidents and human rights activists get to share their experiences with a community of business leaders, technologists, philanthropists, scholars, and policymakers.

   

Adela Lan: I have heard people say that Oslo Freedom Forum is perhaps the world’s highest profile human rights conference. Is it so? Why?

Alex Gladstein: Many people have heard of the Oslo Freedom Forum through the media, as the conference has been featured in The New York Times, BBC News, The Economist, CNN, The Daily Beast, The Guardian, El Pais, Aftenposten, Foreign Policy, WIRED, Al Jazeera, the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, TechCrunch, Bloomberg, The Financial Times, and dozens of other outlets in many languages across many countries. It is sometimes called the “Davos for dissidents,” the “Davos of revolutionaries,” or the “Davos for human rights.” In most human rights conferences, “experts” or government officials speak on stage. At the Oslo Freedom Forum, activists and dissidents are the ones speaking and educating us, and this makes for a different experience that is interesting for media. In a world where many big conferences - like the World Economic Forum or the Clinton Global Initiative - are funded by dictators or feature them on stage, the Freedom Forum stands out for challenging their rule and exposing their corruption.

 

Adela Lan: Who are the participants and who are the speakers?

Alex Gladstein: Each year HRF features approximately 30 speakers on stage at the Oslo Freedom Forum. In our eight year history these have included Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng, Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef, Wikipedia creator Jimmy Wales, Iranian Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, Peruvian Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, two Norwegian foreign ministers, Liberian Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee, Pakistani Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obiad-Chiony, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, North Korean defectors Kang Chol-hwan, Hyeonseo Lee, and Yeonmi Park, the Tibetan prime minister in exile, Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, Saudi women’s rights activist Manal al-Sharif, Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker, Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, Stanford political scientist Larry Diamond, Polish Nobel Laureate Lech Walesa, Russian punk rockers Pussy Riot, Chinese author Jung Chang, Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, executives from Google, YouTube, and Twitter, and of course Dr. Yang Jianli. Participants include leaders from business, philanthropy, policy, technology, media, activism, and academia, who come together to learn more about how to best promote human rights in today ‘s world, and determine how we can most effectively challenge dictatorship.

 

Adela Lan: What is your mission on this Taiwan trip? Why do you choose Taiwan as a home to Freedom Forum?

Alex Gladstein: HRF’s mission on this trip to Taipei is to meet with Taiwanese leaders from different communities interested in the promotion of human rights and democracy. We’ll meet with government officials, business leaders, media, scholars, and others interested in learning more about the potential of a Taiwan Freedom Forum. Our goal is to organize such an event in the next 12 months with help from Initiatives for China. HRF has organized Freedom Forum events in Europe, North America, and Latin America - our next goal is to host an event in East Asia. There are many places we would like to hold a Freedom Forum in East Asia - including Seoul and Tokyo - but Taipei makes for an excellent option due to the Taiwanese people’s commitment to democracy and human rights, and the current government’s positive attitude to political freedom. A Taiwan Freedom Forum could be a very effective resource for democracy activists all across Asia, and a place where they can share their story and receive new support and guidance.

 

Adela Lan: What impacts do you expect that Freedom Forum will bring on Taiwan and what do you expect from Taiwan, its government and civil society?

Alex Gladstein: A Taiwan Freedom Forum would bring a significant amount of international attention to the island and its new government, with a lot of people asking questions about why there is such a renewed interest in human rights. The event itself will attract world leaders from a variety of fields to visit Taiwan and start building new networks and connections there. HRF hopes to find partners in Taiwan both from the government, the business community, and civil society organizations. If we look at our Freedom Forum events in Oslo and San Francisco, Taiwan and Taipei have a lot to gain from a Freedom Forum experience. Our goal would be to help make the city and island the human rights capital of East Asia.

 

Adela Lan: What role does the cooperation from Initiatives for China/Citizen Power for China play in your work in general and for this Taiwan trip in particular?

Alex Gladstein:  HRF will be working with Dr. Yang Jianli on this trip and moving forward in the planning and preparation for the Taiwan Freedom Forum. We are eager to work with Initiatives for China as a partner in this endeavor. We have had the honor of knowing Dr. Yang for some time, as HRF first invited him to speak at the Oslo Freedom Forum five years ago. In the time since, we have collaborated with him and his colleagues fruitfully on various campaigns, events, and reports to promote human rights and democracy. During the Taiwan trip Dr. Yang (given his experience in China) will provide firsthand knowledge of the importance of human rights and the critical nature of the struggle against dictatorship. He believes that Taiwan would make a great home for the Freedom Forum, and we are eager to work with him to make this possible.

 



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