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About the Event
Freedom: How we Lose it and How we Fight Back by Nathan Law, is available for purchase through Politics & Prose with an exclusive 10% discount using the code SPECIAL10
In just a few years, Hong Kong has turned from a free city into an authoritarian police state. Freedom: How we Lose it and How we Fight Back, a new book from Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law, narrates the story of the dismantling of free and open society in Hong Kong and the authoritarian influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Once the youngest lawmaker ever elected to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, Nathan Law is now living in exile, fighting for democracy from afar. In conversation with Uyghur, Tibetan, and Chinese democracy activists, Nathan Law will tell the story of the Hong Kong democracy movement and discuss the importance of supporting democracy activists around the world to work in solidarity against authoritarianism.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Atlantic staff writer Anne Applebaum engaged Nathan Law, Zumretay Arkin, Pema Doma, and Teng Biao in a conversation about how to build solidarity, opportunities for democratic activism in exile, and how to counter the global repression of the CCP.
About the Speakers
Nathan Law is a Hong Kong activist in exile in London. During the 2014 Umbrella Movement, Law was one of five representatives who took part in dialogue with the government, debating political reform. Upholding non-violent civic actions, Law, Joshua Wong, and other student leaders founded Demosistō in 2016 and ran for the Legislative Council election. Law was elected and became the youngest Legislative Councilor in history. Despite this, his seat was overturned in July 2017 following Beijing’s unilateral constitutional reinterpretation and Law was later jailed for his participation in the Umbrella Movement. His persecution sparked global concern over Beijing’s crackdown on human rights and the democratic movement in Hong Kong. In 2018, Law was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and in 2020 was listed as one of the 100 most influential people by TIME. Due to the risks imposed by the draconian National Security Law, Nathan Law left Hong Kong and continues to speak up for the people of Hong Kong on the international level.
Zumretay Arkin is the Program and Advocacy Manager at the World Uyghur Congress and President of the Uyghur Center for Democracy and Human Rights (UCDHR), based in Berlin. She was also recently elected as the Chair of the WUC Women’s Committee. She is also leading grassroots campaigns, such as the Olympics campaign and the forced labor campaign within the Coalition to End Forced Labor in the Uyghur Region.
Pema Doma began her work with the Tibetan Freedom Movement in 2016 as a Campaigns Intern for Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) International in New York. Later, she co-founded an SFT chapter at her university and served as the chapter’s first President. In 2019, Doma officially rejoined the SFT International team as the USA Grassroots Coordinator. Doma is currently a Master’s candidate at American University studying Economics.
Teng Biao is an academic lawyer, currently Hauser Human Rights Scholar at Hunter College, and Pozen Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago. Teng defended cases involving freedom of expression, religious freedom, the death penalty, Tibetans, and Uyghurs. He co-founded two human rights NGOs in Beijing – the Open Constitution Initiative and China Against the Death Penalty, in 2003 and 2010, respectively. Teng has received various international human rights awards including the Human Rights Prize of the French Republic (2007) and NED’s Democracy Award (2008).
Anne Applebaum is a staff writer for the Atlantic and a Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the Agora Institute. Formerly a member of the Washington Post editorial board, she has also worked as the Foreign and Deputy Editor of the Spectator magazine, as the Political Editor of the Evening Standard, and as a columnist at several British newspapers, including the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs. From 1988-1991 she covered the collapse of communism as the Warsaw correspondent of the Economist magazine. Applebaum is an historian and author of several books, including Gulag: A History, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004. Applebaum serves on the NED Board of of Directors.
Damon Wilson is the president and chief executive officer of the National Endowment for Democracy. Prior to joining NED, Mr. Wilson was the executive vice president of the Atlantic Council, worked at the National Security Council (NSC) as the director for Central, Eastern, and Northern European Affairs from 2004 to 2006, special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs at the NSC from 2007 to 2009, and as the executive secretary and chief of staff at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.