Speakers

Having earned dual bachelor degrees in Arts and Education and a Master of Arts in History, Asifa has worked as a teacher and a child development expert and has  been an  advocate  and  activist  on  behalf  of  vulnerable people, particularly children and refugees. 

 

With over five years’ experience working  as  a  teacher  in  both  Pakistan and Thailand, her passion  as an  educator is  realized  through  hands-on teaching, coaching, and mentoring of children and young adults. She  has led a team  of  over  100  people  and  previously  worked  in  a  corporate setting as an operations manager. 

 

Having obtained over  a dozen  further  short-course  qualifications  from organizations including UNHCR, the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights  Network (“APRRN”),   the   Jesuit   Refugee    Service   (Bangkok),    and     Amnesty International,

Asifa   has   developed   a   broad   range   of   skills   including   providing interpretation, counseling, facilitatingof  training  and  seminars,  being  a first responder to provide psychological first aid, and providing sustained support to victims of abuse. 

 

Asifa has been a frequent speaker and trainer  in  skills-based  programs

in Bangkok both for local residents and international participants. In 2017 she  was   selected  to  represent  refugee youth  at the   UNHCR .  Annual Consultation in Geneva. 

 

Asifa   believes   in   informing .   and   empowering  both  individuals  and communities and has worked tirelessly to do so. She continues to develop and lead numerous  initiatives  to  raise  the  voices  of  those  who  would otherwise not be heard. 

With a passion for literature and history, on the rare occasions when Asifa is not working she may be found writing or reading novels and poetry.

Asifa Siddiqa

Rev. Dr. Pusin Tali is from Atayal tribe, one of the 16 indigenous  tribes  in Taiwan. He also is an ordained minister of Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) and serves as the  President  of  Yu-Shan  Theological  College  and Seminary (YTCS) since 2002. He was appointed as the first  Ambassador-at-Large by the Taiwan President, Tsai Ing-wen on the  18th  March,  2019 due to his works and concerns about Taiwan indigenous people’s  human rights, land issues and indigenous autonomy.  He  further  advocates  that Taiwanese   must   strive   to   stand   on   the   beliefs   of   human  rights, democracy,   freedom    and   justice,    and   make    Taiwan   a   "New and Independent Country".

 

He dedicated  his  entire  life  in seeking  for Taiwan  indigenous  people’s human rights, welfare, religious freedom  and  autonomy as  well  as  the rights to their land, languages and culture. Such visions motivated him in his young age to go under the theological training and hoped through the power   of   religion   and   solidity   with   indigenous   people,  that  God’s righteousness, peace, freedom and  fullness  will  be  revealed  in  all  the indigenous societies of Taiwan one day.  


During the years of serving in the church  after  his  graduation,  Dr. Pusin involved himself in many indigenous people’s social movements, such as “Return   Our   Homeland”,     “Recertification     Movement”,    “Indigenous Autonomy   Movement”  etc.  He  stood  with   indigenous   leaders  in  the frontline, organized and motivated people to fight for their own  rights.  In the same time, he earned  his   Master  of  Theology,  Doctor  of  Theology degrees in South  East Asia  Graduate  School  of  Theology (SEAGST).  He started to teach Systematic and Indigenous Theology in YTCS in the  year of 1992, served as president of YTCS in 2002 and elected as Moderator of General Assembly of PCT in 2012. He also is the writer of  six  books:  The Unyielding Indigenous People:  Story  Theology  of  Oo-she  Event  (1995), Indigenous Identity as Taiwanese (1998), Theological  Perspective  of  the Culture and Belief  in  Atayal  Tribe (2007),  Autonomy - the  Only  Way  for Indigenous People to Survive (2008), The Theology of  Survival  of  Taiwan Indigenous People (2012).

Ambassador

Pusin Tali

Sam Brownback was sworn in as Ambassador at  Large for  International Religious Freedom on February 1, 2018. He served as Governor of Kansas from 2011 to 2018. Previously he served  as  a  U.S.  Senator  (1996-2011) and a U.S.

 

Representative in the House of Representatives (1995-1996) from Kansas. While  a   member   of  the  Senate,  he  worked  actively  on  the  issue  of religious freedom in  multiple  countries  and  was  a  key  sponsor  of  the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

 

He also served as Kansas Secretary of Agriculture (1986-1993) and was a White House Fellow in the Office of the U.S.  Trade  Representative  (1990-1991). Prior to his public service, Ambassador Brownback  was  a  private attorney in Kansas and taught agricultural law at Kansas State University, co-authoring two books on the subject.

 

He  earned   a  B.S.  from   Kansas  State   University  and  a J.D.  from  the University of Kansas.

Ambassador At Large

Samuel D. Brownback

Syahar Banu is a blogger, human rights researcher and activist  based  in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her writings  about  human  rights  was  published  in various media, such as Vice Indonesia, the Asianparent Indonesia, Voxpop, and  many  more.   In  2014,  she  is   become   researcher  awardee  from Volunteer in Asia  in   collaboration   with   UGM   Yogyakarta- Bryn   Mawr University – George   Mason   University – Haverford    University   US   for interfaith relation and media.

 

As a part of the minority  group, her  concern in   religious   freedom   and woman rights had brought her to join Sejuk (journalist for diversity),  LBH APIK (Women Legal Aid), and  volunteer in  Pantau Foundation. Her  latest research is about Indonesia  mandatory   hijab   regulation   with   Human Rights Watch Indonesia.  

Syahar Banu

Madeline Chan is a refugee protection  lawyer  at  the  Centre  for  Asylum Protection  (CAP),  a  free   legal   clinic   for  urban  refugees  in  Bangkok. Madeline’s  primary   concern   as   a   refugee   protection   lawyer   is  in articulating her clients’  experiences  of  persecution  in  a  way  that  will convince  UNHCR   of   their   refugee   status.  This   work  has  given  her invaluable  access  to  the  first-hand  accounts  of  religious  persecution across South East Asia.

 

In  her  capacity   as  a   lawyer  at  CAP,  Madeline  is  also  a  co-chair  of  the Bangkok Asylum Seeker and Refugee Assistance Network (BASRAN), a coalition of service providers providing pro bono support in the spheres

of education, healthcare, livelihood,  and  general  welfare.  Madeline  has also  contributed   to  a    Report   by   the   International    Human   Rights Committee regarding the plight of the Ahmadiyya  Muslim  community  in Bangkok.

 

Prior to her work in  the  refugee  law  field,  graduated from  the  London School of Economics and Political Science with a  Bachelor  of  Laws  and worked as a private  practice  lawyer  for  three  years,  with  a  particular focus on Singapore’s corporate litigation and arbitration space.

Madeline Chan

Liv Hernæs Kvanvig  is   the    Coordinator  of the  International   Panel   of Parliamentarians  for  Freedom of Religion or  Belief (IPPFoRB) - a  global network  of   parliamentarians   and  legislators   from  around the  world committed to combatting religious persecution and advancing freedom of religion or belief, as defined by Article 18 of the UN Universal Declaration for Human Rights. 

 

The IPPFoRB secretariat is based in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee in Oslo, which  is  non-governmental  organisation  working  to  ensure  that human rights are respected through  monitoring, reporting, teaching  and democracy support. 

 

Liv has worked with human rights for the  past  fifteen  years  covering a wide range of human rights issues. From 2013 to 2018  she  was  project coordinator  for  the   Norwegian   Human  Rights   Fund - a   civil  society organisation providing financial  support  and  capacity  building  to  local human rights organisations in Asia,  Africa  and  Latin  America. She  has previously worked for the Indonesia Programme at the Norwegian Centre for  Human  Rights (University of Oslo)  and  the  Norwegian  Immigration Appeals Board.

 

Liv has also worked as a consultant for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is a member of the Human Rights Committee of the Church of Norway Council  on  Ecumenical  and  International  Relations. She  holds an MA in International Relations and Asian Politics from The University of Queensland (Australia)  and  a  BA  in   Development  Studies   and  Social Anthropology from the School of African and Oriental Studies (University of London). 

Liv Hernæs Kvanvig

Ms. Tone Tinnes   is   a   Norwegian   diplomat   and   has   served   as  the Norwegian Ambassador to Myanmar since September  2016. She  served as Ambassador to South Sudan from  September  2014  to  August  2016. She   has   previously   worked  at  the  Norwegian  Embassy  in  Tanzania.

 

Tone Tinnes   has   held   various   positions   in   the   Ministry  of  Foreign Affairs   covering   both   foreign   policy   and    development   assistance. 

Tinnes holds a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of  Oslo. She is married with two adult children.

NorwegianAmbassador

Tone Tinnes

Dr. Ja Seng Ing is a dedicated advocate for the  rights  of  migrants, victim of human trafficking and religious minorities with seven years’ experience on dealing  with   wide   variety  of  complex  and  sensitive  human rights issues in Myanmar.

She has a Master degree in Human Rights from the University  of  Sydney, Australia. She  has  extensive  experience  working  on  migration, human trafficking issues and promoting religious  freedom  at  both national  and international  level,   including    with    the    United    Nations   Action   for Cooperation   against   Trafficking  in  Persons (UNACT),  the  International Organization for  Migration  (IOM),  World  Vision  and  the  Kachin  Baptist Convention(KBC). A trained medical doctor, Ja  Seng  studied  Medicine  at the University of Medicine (1) in Yangon.

 

Currently,  she  is  working  as  a  Legal  Researcher  at  the  International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) based in Yangon, Myanmar.

 

Ja Seng Ing is the co-author of a book chapter, Chapter 7 titled: “Precarity and Risk in Myanmar’s Media: A Longitudinal Analysis of Natural Disaster Coverage   by  The   Irrawaddy” in  the   book  titled:  “Media  in  Transition: Legacies, Challenges and Change” edited by  Lisa  Brooten  and  Gayathry Venkiteswaran, page number 177, Singapore 2019.

 

Her  research  interest  areas  include  migration,  human  trafficking  and freedom of religion and belief related issues.

Dr. Ja Seng Ing

Kristina Arriaga has worked  on  the  defense  of  Freedom  of  Religion  or Belief in the United States and internationally for over 20 years as Advisor to  the  United  States  delegation  to  the   United  Nations  Human  Rights Commission, an appointee  to  the  Civil  Rights  Commission,  and  as  the Executive Director of a U.S.-based public interest law firm that defends all religious traditions.

In 2016, she was appointed by the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to  the U.S. Commission on  International  Religious  Freedom (USCIRF).  In  2017 and 2018 she was elected Vice Chairwoman of the Commission. Since her appointment to USCIRF, Arriaga  has  met  with  the  Grand  Sheikh  of  Al-Azhar  in  Cairo,  the  Vice  Minister  of  Islam  in  Riyadh,  the  Ecumenical Patriarch in  Istanbul,  among  many  other  foreign  government  officials, religious leaders,  and  human  rights  advocates.  She  has  also  testified before the U.S. Congress.

Arriaga   is   a   sought-after    speaker    on    religious    freedom,  on  the intersection  of  religious  freedom  and  women's  rights,  and  on  human rights in Cuba. She has spoken at  numerous  academic  conferences,  the National   Constitutional   Center,  the  Council  on  Foreign  Relations,  and Georgetown University’s Berkley  Center  for  Religion,  Peace,  and  World Affairs, among many others. She has  also  appeared  on  several  TV  and radio   programs   on   MSNBC,   C-Span,  FOX,  CNN  Español,  EWTN,  and National Public Radio. Her op-eds have been featured in publications such as the Wall Street  Journal  and  Newsweek.  She  is  the  recipient  of  the Newseum's 2017 Free Speech award. 

Kristina Arriaga

Since 1981,   Debbie  Stothard,    a   Malaysian,   has  worked  as  a  crime reporter, government advisor, human  rights  advocate,  and  educator.  In 1996,    she    founded    ALTSEAN-Burma    to    develop    innovative   and empowering human rights programs,  an  organization  she  still  runs.  In 2013, she was elected Secretary-General of the  International  for  Human Rights (FIDH).

At its formation, ALTSEAN-Burma used a range of  assertive and  creative advocacy tactics to target the Association of Southeast  Asian  Nations  as an institution,   in   order   to   generate  pressure   for  human  rights  and democracy.   This   encouraged   more   human  rights  and    civil   society organizations    in   the   region  to  engage   with   ASEAN   to  incorporate commitments to human rights during its reform period.

During  her   human   rights   career,   Debbie   has   worked  with  diverse communities and activists to engage states, IGOs and other  stakeholders throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas  on  human  rights  and justice. Her work is focused  on  the  thematic  priorities  of  business  and human rights, atrocity prevention, and women’s leadership.

Accordingly, she has either facilitated or been a resource person at nearly 300 training  events.  Most  of  these  were  grassroots-oriented  capacity-building workshops, including 154 workshops on advocacy, 80 workshops on economic literacy and business and human rights, and  26  workshops related to transitional justice and atrocity prevention. She also started  an intensive leadership program for young women  from  Burma,  which  has been running continuously since 1997.

She has been a high level  speaker  or  moderator  at  many  national  and international conferences.

Debbie Stothard

Phil Robertson   is  the  Deputy  Director  of  Human  Rights  Watch's  Asia Division. He   oversees   the   organization's   work  throughout  Asia,  with special focus on Southeast Asia,  North and South  Korea  and  Japan.  He serves as a human rights advocate  engaging  with  government  and  UN agency officials, a  spokesperson  representing  the  organization’s  views who regularly contributes to national and international  media  stories  on SE Asia,  a  strategic   campaigner   on  rights   cases  and  causes,  and  a researcher and writer on topics of  human  rights,  labor  rights,  refugees and migration.

Prior to joining Human Rights Watch in 2009, he worked for  fifteen  years in Southeast Asia on  human  rights,  labor  rights,  protection  of  migrant workers, and  counter-human  trafficking  effort s with  a  variety  of  non-governmental   organizations,   international   and   regional   trade  union federations,  and  UN  agencies.  As  program  manager  of  the  UN  Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP), he oversaw the  successful negotiation of the first regional inter-governmental agreement on  human trafficking in the greater Mekong sub-region.

 

As a consultant,   he    researched   and   wrote   the   seminal   report   on trafficking and rights abuses in the Thai fishing industry in 2009. Working for  the  Task  Force   on  ASEAN   Migrant  Workers,  he  co-led the  multi-stakeholder, multi-country process and served as primary  drafter  of  the comprehensive civil society proposal to ASEAN for a  legal  instrument  to protect  and   promote   the  rights  of  migrant  workers.  He  directed  the Mainland Southeast Asia office of the AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center, working on trade union rights, democratic political reform,  and  rights  of  migrant workers, focusing on Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Thailand.  He also worked as a professional staff member of the Asia Subcommittee  of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington, DC. A 1997 graduate of the Johns  Hopkins  School  of  Advanced  International  Studies,  he  is fluent in Thai and Lao. 

Phil Robertson

Grover Joseph Rees served as the first United States Ambassador to  East Timor   from  2002  to  2006.  From   October  2006   until   January   2009  Ambassador  Rees  he  was  the  Special Representative for Social Issues in the US  Department of State. For years Joseph has been a strong voice promoting human dignity,  including issues affecting  vulnerable  persons and the family, within the United Nations system.

From 1995 until 2002 Joseph was  a senior staff member on the  Foreign  Affairs   Committee  in  the  US House of  Representatives,  where he was responsible  for  human  rights and refugee protection.  In  this   capacity,  he   played  a  major  role  in  the  drafting   and  enactment  of important human  rights  legislation  including   the  Trafficking  Victims   Protection  Act,  the   International  Religious  Freedom  Act, and the  Torture  Victims Relief Act.

 

Joseph  also   served   as  General  Counsel  of   the  US Immigration  and   Naturalization   Service  (1991-93),   Chief  Justice  of  the  High  Court  of American   Samoa (1986-1991),   and   Special  Counsel  to  the   Attorney General of the United States (1985-86).

Amb. (ret'd) Grover Joseph Rees

Shan is a partner at Kanesalingam & Co. He is also one of the founders of the blawg www.LoyarBurok.com, and  a director of the  Malaysian  Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights, also known as the  Pusat Rakyat LoyarBurok.

 

He obtained his LLB degree from King’s College, London in 1997, and was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s  Inn  in  1998. He  also  has  a  post  graduate Diploma  in   Syariah   Law   &   Practice   from   the  International  Islamic University, Malaysia. He completed an  LLM at  Columbia  University,  New York on a Fulbright scholarship.

 

Aside  from  his  active  practice  in  corporate  insolvency,  corporate  and general litigation, and corporate advisory work, Shan  also  does  a  lot  of constitutional  and   public   interest  litigation,  primarily  in  the  fields  of freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

 

He has acted for numerous persons who say they are wrongly treated  as Muslim and being denied the ability to profess  and  practice  their  actual faith  of  Hinduism. He   has   also   acted   Hindu  mothers  who  say  their children were unlawfully converted to Islam by  their  ex-husbands.  Shan was   counsel   in  Indira  Gandhi v  Religious  Department  (2018),   where Malaysia’s apex court in a landmark judgment overturned the conversion certificates of 3 children.

 

Shan  also   acted  for  an  online  news  portal  in  a  case  establishing  a constitutional right to a free press in Malaysia. He  was  part  of  the  legal team in in several  cases  challenging  bans  on  books,  including  a  book published  by  Sisters  in  Islam;  the  Malay  translation  of  Irshad Manji’s “Allah, Liberty and Love”; and a collection of cartoons by  political  satirist Zunar.

Shanmuga Kanesalingam

Vo Tran Nhat is Executive Secretary of the Vietnam Committee on  Human Rights (VCHR).  He speaks  regularly at the UN Human Rights Council  and at  conferences   on  religious   freedom  and   human  rights  in  Asia  and Europe.

 

He has written reports on the legal  system in Vietnam, prison conditions, freedom of expression and religion or  belief,  as  well  as  articles  in  the French   and   international    press   (Mediapart, Droit et  soin  contre  les violences).

 

Nhat is in charge of the religious freedom project at the  VCHR. He  has  a Master’s degree in Public Law and a post-graduate diploma in  European Law (Paris XII University).

Vo Tran Nhat

Since May 2016 Jan Figel was nominated by the European Commission as the  first  Special  Envoy  for  promotion  of  freedom  of  religion  or  belief (FoRB) outside the European  Union.  Mandate  represents  a  new  task  to engage in this  sensitive  area  mainly  through  international  cooperation and development aid policy of the EU.

He often underlines that FoRB is an essential value for  human  dignity  of everyone everywhere, for peace and justice  in  the  world.  His  role  is  to work   closely   with   other   institutions   within   the   EU  (EEAS,  Council, Parliament)   and   Member   States   especially   in   critical   regions  and countries.   He   named   several   regions   as   his   priority:  Middle  East, especially Iraq and Syria, Nothern and  Central  Africa,  SouthEastern  and Southern Asia. Mandate  includes  Special  Envoy´s  reporting  within  the regular dialogue of the EU with churches, religious communities and non-confessional organisations based on Art. 17 of the Lisbon Treaty.

 

Jan Figel is experienced Slovak and European politician. He was Slovakia´s Chief   Negotiator   and   the   first  EU   Commissioner  responsible  for education, culture and youth policies and Deputy Prime Minister and Vice-President of the National Council.

Jan Figel

Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, CEO & President of Boat People SOS. He  escaped Communist Vietnam by boat with his parents and younger siblings in late 1978. After 7 months in a Malaysia refugee camp, he  arrived with  family members in the United States as refugees. He entered  college and seven years later graduated with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and a Master’s degree in Electrical and Electronic  Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

 

Already active in community service while in college, in  2001  he  left  his engineer   career   to   devote   his   full   energy  to  organize  Vietnamese American communities and bring democracy to Vietnam.

 

Since joining Boat People SOS in 1989 as a volunteer, he has successfully championed   the   resettlement   of   over  twenty  thousand  Vietnamese refugees   and   torture   survivors,   supervised   the  rescue  of  over  five thousand victims of human trafficking, and led the development of BPSOS into the largest organization in the Vietnamese diaspora,  with  operations in six U.S. cities and a regional headquarters in  Southeast  Asia.  In  2015, Dr. Thang was one  of  the  initiators  of  the  Southeast  Asia  Freedom  of Religion or Belief (SEAFORB) movement.

  

For his tireless work to defend human rights,  bring  democratic  changes to Vietnam and develop civil society in  Southeast  Asia,  he  has  received numerous   national   and   international    awards    including    the    Asia Democracy and Human  Rights  Award  presented  by  the  President  and Chairman of Parliament of the Republic of China in 2011.

Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang

Y.W. Junardy is the  President  of   Indonesia  Global  Compact  Network,  a local network of the United Nations Global  Compact   in  Indonesia.  He  is also a member of the Expert Team of the United  Nations Global  Compact after completing his term as a Board Member in 2018.  

 

He is currently the Commissioner of PT  Rajawali Corpora,  an  Indonesian national holding investment Company operating in   diverse  industries i.e. hotel &   property,   transportation,  agriculture,   mining  and  IT  Services.

 

Prior to his current position  he   served  in  various  companies  including Managing Director of PT Rajawali  Corpora,  CEO of Excelcomindo (Now XL Axiata)- a cellular operator,  Board  Commissioner of RCTI  - a national  TV broadcasting and Deputy President Director of Bank Universal, a company of Astra International. Prior to above, he  worked  for  IBM  Indonesia,  IBM Regional HQ in Hong Kong, IBM Asia/Far East in  New  York  and  IBM  Asia Pacific Group in Tokyo before his appointment as CEO of IBM Indonesia.

 

He also sits as an active board-member in  various  CSOs,  among  others: Indonesia   Business   Links,   Asia   Marketing     Federation    Foundation, Indonesia    Marketing    Association,    International   Council    for   Small Business, Uni Papua Football Community and House of  Love  Foundation.

 

He is also the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Namibia  to  Republic  of Indonesia.

 

In 2016, Y.W. Junardy was selected as the Gold Medal Winner of the Global Business & Interfaith Peace Award in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The  Award  is a joint initiative of the Religious Freedom &  Business  Foundation  (RFBF), United Nations Global Compact Business  for  Peace  (B4P)  platform  and United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) with its Brazilian  affiliate, the Associação pela Liberdade Religiosa e Negócios (ALRN).

Yaya Winarno

Junardy

Eugene Yapp holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B Hons), University of  London, the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP), University Malaya & Malaysia Legal Qualifying Board and a Master in Christian Studies (MCS),  Malaysia  Bible Seminary. He was an Advocate and Solicitor of the High  Court  of  Malaya from 1993 to 2007. 

He   is   currently   the   Director   of    RFL   (Religious Freedom & Liberty) Partnership,  a   centre  for  the  promotion  of  religious  freedom  for  all persons. He also serves as board member of Kairos Dialogue Network,  a faith  based   non-profit  organisation  dedicated  to  the  advancement  of Christian-Muslim relations in Malaysia.  In  addition,  he  is  the  Executive Committee  member   in   the  coalition  of  civil   society  organisations  in Malaysia called Plan of  Action  for  Malaysia  and  oversee  their  Unity  in Diversity programmes which  involves  issues  of  religious  freedom  and harmony. He is also the Senior Fellow of the Religious  Freedom  Institute of the South and South East Asia Action team and formerly the Secretary-General of  the  National  Evangelical  Christian  Fellowship  Malaysia (the evangelical alliance of Malaysia). 

 

He was involved in the publication of the  NECF  Religious  Liberty  Report 2008,  2009,  2010,  2011  (NECF Publications),  Transforming  the  Nation, Forum VI., eds 2007. (NECF Publications), The “Copyright”  Controversy of ‘Allah’:  Issues  and  Challenges  Assailing  the  Malaysian  Church  in  The Church in a Changing  World:  An  Asian  Response:  Challenges  from  the Malang Consultation  on  Globalization,  2010  (ATA Publications),  Canning Kartika! Is Religious Parochialism Growing in Malaysia? In The  Church  in

a  Changing  World:  An   Asian   Response:  Challenges  from  the  Malang Consultation   on    Globalization,     2010   (ATA Publications),     “Religious Freedom in Malaysia: The Church’s Engagement for Justice and Equity  in the Public Arena”,  Lausanne  Global  Analysis  (January  2015,  Volume  4 /Issue 1), “The Church under Shari'a  in  Malaysia:  Exploring  Dimensions and Responses” in Occasional Papers in the Study  of  Islam,  The  Church under the Shadow of Shariah: A Christian Assessment (MTS Publications, 2017).

Eugene Yapp

Andrew Khoo is a lawyer in private practice in Malaysia.  He  is  currently serving his 10th year as an elected member of Bar Council  Malaysia and is the new  Co-Chair of  the  Bar  Council  Constitutional  Law  Committee, after leading the Bar Council Human  Rights  Committee  for  9 years.  He also chairs the Bar Council Trade  in  Legal  Services  Committee,  and  is

Co-Deputy Chair of the Bar Council Legal Profession Committee  and  Bar Council Child Rights Committee.  He also  chairs  the  Sub-committee  on Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing,  and  is a  member

of several other human rights-related committees.

 

Andrew  has   represented   the   Malaysian  Human  Rights  Commission (SUHAKAM), the Malaysian Bar,  the  Council  of  Churches  Malaysia,  the Anglican Diocese of West Malaysia and the Bible  Society  of  Malaysia  in watching briefs on human-rights related cases before the  Federal Court, Court of Appeal and the High Court.  He has also appeared before several SUHAKAM public    inquiries   on    public    assemblies     and     enforced disappearances. 

 

Andrew  has  briefed  Malaysian  Members  of  Parliament  on  legislative matters  such   as  the  abolition  of  the  death  penalty,  the  situation  of refugees     and    asylum   seekers  in   Malaysia,   membership   of    the International Criminal Court, the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill, the DNA  Identification     Bill,     the     Personal    Data    Protection   Bill,   the Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill and the National Security Council Bill.  As a response to the changed political environment in Malaysia,  he is  on the Bar  Council  team  that  authored  various  legislative  proposals  that were   submitted    to    the    newly-elected      Malaysian     Government's

Institutional Reform Committee. 

 

He has also addressed various issues of human rights in Malaysia  at the UN Human Rights Council and to the UN High Commission  for  Refugees, in Geneva, at the European Union in Brussels, as  well  as  regionally  and locally. He gave evidence before the Parliamentary Select  Committee  on Electoral Reform, on  behalf  of  the  BERSIH 2.0  Steering  Committee,  of which he was a member until November 2013.  He authored  the  chapter on Law and the  Judiciary  in  the  Annual  SUARAM  Report  on  Civil  and Political Rights in Malaysia from 2007-2014  and  2016,  and  his  articles have been published  in  The  New  Straits  Times,  The Sun,  Malaysiakini,

The  Nut   Graph,  Micah  Mandate,  the   Wall  Street  Journal  and  on  the Malaysian Bar website and journal.

Andrew Khoo

Sussi Prapakranant is the Programme  Officer at the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights   Network   (APRRN)  and  is  based   at  the  APRRN  Secretariat  in Bangkok, Thailand. APRRN is an open and growing network  consisting of more   than   400   civil   society   organisations  and  individuals  from  28 countries  committed   to  advancing  the  rights  of  refugees  in  the  Asia Pacific Region. 

Sussi's  passion  for,  and  dedication  to  advancing  human  rights  spans more than a decade and covers a wide range of issues.  She  has  worked with   diverse    populations    in   the   Asia   region,   including   displaced communities in  India,  ethnic  minorities  in  Vietnam,  refugees,  migrant youth and former political prisoners in Thailand.

Prior to joining APRRN she  worked  for  a  Thai  foundation  collaborating with UN bodies and other  NGOs  on   combating  child  sexual  abuse  and human trafficking. She  spent 2 years at the Department for Asia, Oceania and Latin America at the  Danish  Ministry  of  Foreign  Affairs  where  she conducted   human   rights  research  and  monitoring  to  support  Danish initiatives to promote and improve human rights in Asia.

Sussi also serves as the Regional Advisor to  the  International  Detention Coalition for the Asia Pacific region,  a   global  network  of  over  400  civil society   organisations   and    individuals    in  almost   90  countries,  that advocate for, research and provide  direct  services  to  refugees,  asylum-seekers and migrants affected by immigration detention. She holds  a  BA in International Development  &  Socio-Economic  Planning  Studies  from Roskilde University in Denmark  and  a  MA  in  Asian  Studies  from  Lund University in Sweden.

Sussi Prapakranant

W. Cole Durham, Jr. Founding Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University. Graduated from Harvard College  and   Harvard   Law  School,  where  he  was  Note  Editor  of  the Harvard Law Review and Managing  Editor  of  the  Harvard  International Law Journal. Former   chair   of  the  Comparative  Law  and  of   the  Law  and   Religion  Sections    of    American    Association   of   Law   Schools.  Immediate  Past President of the International Consortium for   Law   and  Religion  Studies (ICLARS), based in Milan, Italy;  Co-Editor of  the  Oxford Journal of Law and Religion;   co-author   of   Law  and  Religion: National,   International  and Comparative Perspectives  (2d ed. 2019);  co-editor  of the  Encyclopedia  of Law   and   Religion  (Brill 2016),  and  co-author   of  a  4-volume  treatise, Religious Organizations and the Law.

W. Cole Durham, Jr.

Filip Buff Pedersen,   works  as  a  project  consultant  in  Danish   Mission Council Development Department, an umbrella organization for 35 Danish Churches and church based  organizations  in  international  development cooperation.

 

Filip has a background in political science, development and international relations and has worked with international  development  cooperation  in the civil society sector for more than ten years. Since  2014  with  a  focus on freedom   of  religion   or   belief   in   Foreign   policy and  international development cooperation as well as religion and development.

 

Filip works for the NORFORB learning project  on  freedom  of  religion  or belief (forb-learning.org) He is the coordinator of  the  Danish  Network  of parliamentarians for freedom of religion or belief  as  well  as  the  Danish Network on Religion and Development.

Filip Buff Pedersen

Sean Nelson serves as Legal Counsel for Global Religious  Freedom  with ADF International, where he advocates on  behalf  of  religious  minorities being persecuted for their faith around the world. In this role, he supports ADF International’s Allied  Lawyer  Network,  who  represent  clients  who have had their right to freedom of religion  violated. Based in Washington, D.C., he  engages   with  the  U.S. State   Department,  U.S.  Congress,  U.S. Commission   on   International   Religious   Freedom,  and  various  other institutions and organizations to coordinate efforts  to  promote  religious freedom worldwide.

 

He  is   also   the   co-chair   of   three   International   Religious   Freedom Roundtable   Working    Groups,   on   the   United    Nations,   prisoners  of conscience, and justice and accountability.  Nelson  regularly  speaks  and publishes on international religious freedom issues. Prior  to  joining  ADF International, Nelson was an attorney at Jenner &  Block  LLP.  He  earned his J.D. at   Harvard   Law   School   and  is  admitted  to  the  state  bar  of California.

Sean Nelson

Dr. S. Ramakrishnan Suppiah   ACMA   (UK),   MBA,   PHD  is  Bekok  State Assemblymen and Johore State Executive Council holding the portfolio of Consumerism,  Human   Resources and  Unity.  Dr. S. Ramakrishnan  also holding the position of Deputy  Chairman  of  Johore’s  Democratic  Action Party (DAP).

 

He is also an experienced lecturer of accounting and  finance  teaching  in twinning programs from Australia  in  private  educational  institution.  He became a political activist since 1999 and joined DAP.  Since  then  he  has travelled extensive  throughout  Malaysia  advocating  political  change  in Malaysia. He was appointed as a Councillor (Ahli Majlis)  in  Petaling  Jaya City Council (MPPJ) Jaya from June 2008 to 2009 by the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government. From Dec 2009 to Dec 2012, he served as Senator (Ahli Dewan Negara).

Dr. S. Ramakrishnan Suppiah

Kyaw Min San is a member of the Bago Regional Parliament  in  Myanmar and was previously a regional Minister of Natural  Resources,  Forest, and Environmental Conservation in Bago. He is a longtime  advocate of human rights and the rule of law. Prior to being elected to the Bago Parliament in 2015, he worked with the International Commission of Jurists and  British Council’s Pyoe Pin Program,  and   published  research  papers  in  related fields.

 

Kyaw Min San is a member of the APHR FoRB Working Group.

Kyaw Min San

McClurg serves as Vice President and Ambassador-At-Large in the  Office of Security & Trust.  He engages the industry around the globe on  today’s risk challenges and  how  BlackBerry | Cylance  uniquely  mitigates  them with the application of AI & machine learning. Champions a move  from  a historically  reactive   security   posture   to   one  focused  on  proactively predicting and preventing future risks.

 

He comes to BlackBerry | Cylance from Dell where he served  as  its  CSO, advancing responsibilities that included the  strategic  focus  and  tactical operations of Dell’s internal global  security  services,  both  physical  and cyber.  He was also charged with the advocacy of business resilience and security prowess  generally,  the  seamless  integration  of  Dell’s  various security offerings, and with improving the effectiveness and efficiency  of security initiatives, including Business Continuity and  Disaster  Recovery.
 

Before  joining   Dell, McClurg   served   as  the  Vice  President  of  Global Security      at       Honeywell      International; Lucent     Technologies/Bell Laboratories;  and    in   the    U.S. Intelligence  Community,   as   a   twice-decorated member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where  he held an assignment with the US Department of Energy (DOE) as a Branch Chief  charged   with   establishing  a Cyber-Counterintelligence  program within the DOE’s  newly  created  Office  of  Counterintelligence.   Prior  to

that, McClurg  served   as  a   Supervisory  Special  Agent  within  the  FBI, assisting in the establishment of the FBI’s  new  Computer  Investigations and Infrastructure Threat Assessment Center or  what  was  later  known

as the National Infrastructure Protection Center within the Department of Homeland Security. McClurg also served, for a time, on  assignment  as  a Deputy  Branch   Chief  with  the  Central  Intelligence  Agency,  helping  to establish the new Counterespionage Group and  was  responsible  for  the management  of   complex   counterespionage   investigations.    He   also served as a Special  Agent  for  the  FBI  in  the  Los  Angeles  Field  Office where he implemented plans to protect critical US technologies  targeted for unlawful  acquisition  by  foreign  powers  and  served  on  one  of  the nation’s first Joint Terrorism Task Forces. 
 

McClurg   was   voted    one   of  America’s 25   most   influential   security professionals; holds  a J.D. Degree  from  Brigham  Young  University; is  a member of the Utah Bar  Association;  Co-chaired  the  Overseas  Security Advisory  Council  (OSAC)  of  the U.S. Department  of  State;  is  a  Special Advisor  to   the  FBI’s  Office  of  the  Private  Sector;  and  served  as  the founding  Chairman   of  the  International  Security  Foundation.  He  also

holds an MA in Organizational Behavior, BS and BA degrees  in  University Studies  and  Philosophy  from  Brigham  Young,  and  advanced  doctoral studies  in  Philosophical   Hermeneutics  at  UNC-Chapel  Hill  and  UCLA. McClurg also  currently  serves  as  a  Fellow  at  Utah  Valley  University’s Center for National Security Studies.

John E. McClurg

Desi holds Bachelor of Law from Al-Azhar University, Egypt  and  obtained her   Master   of   Law   (LL.M)  in   Public  International  Law  from  Leiden University,   the   Netherland.  Desi  has  written  and  published  extensive academic  works  related  to  Human  Rights Mechanisms  in  ASEAN  and Asia. Desi has a total of  eight-year  experience  in  the  sectors  of  human rights, law and parliamentary cooperation,  including  4,7  years  with  the ASEAN Secretariat,     as     a     technical      officer      for      the     ASEAN Intergovernmental  Commission  on  Human  Rights  (AICHR),  the  ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIP A), the ASEAN Foundation and Entities Associated with ASEAN.

 

Currently, Desi serves as a  Southeast  Asia  Regional  Coordinator   for   a

joint project of the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) and the International Panel  of  Parliamentarians  on  Freedom  of  Religion  or Belief (IPPFoRB) on FoRB. She has successfully led the establishment of a Southeast Asia Parliamentarians on  FoRB  (SEAPFoRB);  coordinated  the undertaking   of    two    fact-finding    missions   on   FoRB  to  Yogyakarta, Indonesia   and   Kuala   Lumpur,   Malaysia;   implemented    three   policy dialogues on  “Mitigation  Religious  Tensions”, “Tackling  Online  Religious Hate Speech”, and “Legislating Religious Freedom”. In February  2019,  the Project was selected to be featured at the UN  Headquarter  in  New  York, showcasing   the   successful   works   of   the    project    in    empowering parliamentarians to safeguard FoRB protection in Southeast Asia

Desi Hanara

Naeem( Khin Maung Myint) is a Rohingya activist live in Yangon. He is also active in interfaith activities and currently he is a working group  member of Law Ka Thar Ra interfaith foundation led by Cardinal Charles Maung Bo and other prominent religious  figures  from  Buddhist,  Islam,  Hindu  and other faiths.Naeem has been interviewd by many media outlets  like  CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, The Nation, CNAI, NHK, Myanmar Times,  VOA,  RFA,  TRT World and many others.

 

Naeem was also an active member of  Aung San Su Kyi’s National  league for Democracy party (NLD), from 1988 till 2010  and  actively  participated inside and outside of the country for release of ASSK  from house  arrest, release of political prisoners,  transferring  power  to  elected  civilians  in 1990 election, imposing embargos  on  regimes and  many  other  issues. Naeem attended many conferences hosted by FoRB and  RFI  as  panelist.

Sam Naeem

Ed Brown   is  an   American  national,  and   is  the  Secretary  General  of Stefanus   Alliance   International,  a  Norwegian  Christian  missions  and human rights organization with an expertise  in  freedom  of  religion  and belief. Brown has a long-standing career in Stefanus, where  he  has  also worked as a human rights advisor and human rights director.

 

Before his current position,  he  was  a  senior  advisor  in  the  Norwegian Helsinki    Committee    where      he      coordinated      an      international parliamentarian network for freedom of religion or  belief  (IPPFoRB)  and was part of helping to establish the network in 2014.

Ed Brown 

Prof. Dr. Christof Sauer is Professor for Religious Freedom  and  Research on Persecution of Christians at Giessen School of Theology, Germany, part time   Professor   of   Religious   Studies  and  Missiology  at  Evangelische Theologische Faculteit Leuven, Belgium,  and  Professor  Extraordinary  at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He is  also  founding  Co-Director  of the  International  Institute  for  Religious  Freedom   (Bonn – Cape Town – Colombo – Brasilia – Brussels/Geneva)    and     the     World     Evangelical Alliance’s observer on the World Council of Churches  Commission  of  the Churches on International Affairs. 

 

He  holds  a  doctorate  in  intercultural theology   from     the     University   of     South   Africa   and  has  written  a postdoctoral   habilitation  thesis   at   Wuppertal   Protestant    University,   Germany,    on     how    different Christian traditions view being killed  for  one’s  faith.  He  is  the  founding editor  of   the    International    Journal    for    Religious  Freedom    since   2008.  He    also    coordinates    different    networks  of  researchers  on  FORB,  connecting  academia  and  praxis. He   shares   his  time  between Giessen, Germany and Cape Town, South Africa when  he  is not traveling.

Prof. Dr. Christof Sauer

Kasit Piromya is a former Thai diplomat, foreign minister, member of  the Thai Parliament and member of the National Reform Steering  Assembly.  After  retiring  from  the  Civil  Service,  he  became  a  political  activist,  a politician,   a   guest   lecturer,  a  newspaper  columnist  and  a  television commentator on International Affairs. 

 

He was on the Executive Committee  of  CALD  (Council  of  Asian  Liberals and Democrats) and Board of the LI (Liberal International).

 

Kasit Piromya is a member of APHR’s Board and Chair of APHR’s Thailand Caucus

Kasit Piromya

Teodoro Baguilat, Jr. is a member of the House of Representatives  of  the Philippines, serving his third term as elected representative  of  the  Lone District of Ifugao Province.

 

He is a longtime member of the Liberal Party and  has  also  served  as  a municipal  mayor  and  governor  of  Ifugao. In  Congress,  he  is  a  strong advocate for human rights, particularly indigenous people’s rights.

Teddy Baguilat

Benedict Rogers is a human rights activist and writer. As East Asia  Team Leader at the international human rights organisation Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), he  specialises  in  Burma,  Indonesia,  Malaysia,  North Korea  and  China.   He  has  also  worked  on  East  Timor,  Pakistan,  The Maldives and Sri Lanka in the past.  

Ben is a Senior Fellow at the Religious Freedom Institute, an Associate of Oxford  House,  a  member  of  the  advisory  board  of  the   International Coalition to End Organ Pillaging in China, a  Trustee  of  several  charities including the Phan Foundation and the Chin Human Rights  Organisation, and serves as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, which he co-founded in 2005 with Gary Streeter MP.

He is  the  author   of   six   books,   including   Burma:  A   Nation   at   the Crossroads   (2012, Random House),     and     several     major      reports, including Indonesia: Pluralism in Peril – The rise of  religious  intolerance across the  archipelago,   published   by   CSW   in   February   2014.   Ben

regularly   briefs   policymakers  around  the  world  and  has  testified  in hearings at  the  European  Parliament,  the  UK  Parliament​  and  the  US Congress. He is a  regular  contributor  to  international  media, including 

The Wall Street Journal, The New York  Times  and  The  Huffington  Post 

and has appeared on BBC, CNN and al-Jazeera. 

Benedict Rogers

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