Apr 3, 2020

On April 13-14, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) will host COVIDCon, a virtual Oslo Freedom Forum event focused on how tyranny sparked and is exploiting the novel coronavirus pandemic to crack down on civil liberties.

This two-day event, open to global audiences, will feature presentations and panels about the current pandemic and its relationship to state censorship, disinformation, surveillance, and the future of civil liberties. COVIDCon sessions will showcase the difference in the responses of authoritarian regimes and democratic governments to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Confirmed speakers include former Chinese prisoner of conscience Dr. Yang Jianli; Russian democracy advocate Garry Kasparov; Iranian journalist and human rights activist Masih Alinejad; recently expelled Wall Street Journal deputy China bureau chief Josh Chin; entrepreneur and angel investor Naval Ravikant; Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong; futurist and “After On” author Rob Reid; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum; Ideas Beyond Borders’ Melissa Chen; China-U.S. expert Kyle Bass; and many others.

As autocratic rulers use this health crisis as an excuse to expand their hold on power, HRF remains committed to uniting people in the common cause of defending human rights and promoting liberal democracy. This is a critical time to take action and prevent authoritarian regimes from further diminishing individual rights.

Interested in attending? Register and see the full schedule here. For interview requests and media inquiries, contact [email protected]


The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.