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Deborah Hakes
Carter Center

James Boyd
Indiana University School of Law--Bloomington

Last modified: Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ibrahim to join former President Carter for human-rights discussion

Dec. 2, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a visiting professor at the Indiana University School of Law--Bloomington and a visiting professor of political sociology at IU Bloomington, will join former President Jimmy Carter and other human rights advocates this week at an international conference in Atlanta.

The Carter Center event, which brings together prominent human rights leaders from around the world, is aimed at developing policy recommendations for President-elect Barack Obama. Carter and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay will host the conference.

Photo by: David Snodgress

Saad Eddin Ibrahim

At its conclusion, Ibrahim, an Egyptian human rights activist, will take part with Carter in a panel discussion, "Restoring Rights and Rules: A New Human Rights Agenda for the United States," which will be Webcast live at The discussion will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday (Dec. 3). Other panelists will include Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA, and Sima Samar, chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

Ibrahim, founder of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, is an internationally recognized advocate for human rights and democracy in the Middle East. He has authored or edited more than 30 books and founded or directed a number of think tanks, policy institutes and advocacy organizations throughout the Middle East, including the Arab Human Rights Organization, the Arab Democracy Foundation, and Voices for a Democratic Egypt.

He was imprisoned from 2000 through 2003 for allegedly tarnishing Egypt's international image, though he was later acquitted by Egypt's High Court and exonerated on all charges.

In August 2008, he was sentenced in absentia in Egypt to two years in prison with hard labor for "tarnishing Egypt's image abroad" after writing a critical op-ed piece in the Washington Post. If he ever returns, Ibrahim faces 16 more legal suits in various Egyptian courts and could be sentenced to 50 years in prison.

He is one of 13 "human rights defenders" featured on the Web site of the Carter Center, founded in 1982 by former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and dedicated to advancing human rights and alleviating unnecessary human suffering.

The conference today and Wednesday will examine issues such as banning torture, closing Guantanamo, recommitting to the Geneva Conventions, and how the United States can best support human rights and democracy movements throughout the world. It will take place on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more information, see