Benedict Rogers
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Benedict Rogers is a human rights activist, writer and Conservative candidate. He is East Asia Team Leader at the international human rights organisation Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), where he specializes in Burma, Indonesia and North Korea, and oversees the organisation’s work in the rest of the region. He has travelled to Burma and its borders more than 40 times, and is the author of three books on Burma, including Burma: A Nation at the Crossroads (Random House, 2012) and Than Shwe: Unmasking Burma’s Tyrant (Silkworm Books, 2010). He is co-author with Baroness Cox of The Very Stones Cry Out: The Persecuted Church - Pain, Passion and Praise (Continuum, 2011) and with Joseph D'souza of On the Side of the Angels: Justice, Human Rights and Kingdom Mission (Authentic, 2007). His new publication, Indonesia: Pluralism in Peril - The Rise of Religious Intolerance Across the Archipelago, was published in February 2014 by CSW.

In 2010, Ben travelled to North Korea with Lord Alton and Baroness Cox, to meet the regime and discuss human rights concerns. In 2011, he co-founded the International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), bringing together more than 40 organisations from around the world, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

Ben has also worked in Timor-Leste, the Maldives, Nagorno Karabakh, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and has lived in Hong Kong and Washington, DC, where he established branches of CSW. He stood as a Parliamentary Candidate in the City of Durham in the 2005 General Election, and is co-founder and Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission in the UK. He has testified at hearings in the US Congress, British Parliament and European Parliament, regularly briefs legislators and policy-makers, is a frequent contributor to international media and a regular speaker in conferences, universities, schools and churches around the world. He is an Associate of Oxford House, a Trustee of the Phan Foundation and a former Trustee of Support for the Oppressed Peoples of Burma, the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust and Reporters Without Borders.

These articles are written in a personal capacity and the views expressed are is own.

Entries by Benedict Rogers

Whichever Way I Look at It, I Cannot See the Case for Andrea Leadsom - I'm for Theresa May, All the Way

(5) Comments | Posted 11 July 2016 | (03:45)

Let me be very clear: this is not an "attack" on Andrea Leadsom. It is instead an expression of my genuine, head-scratching puzzlement. Profound puzzlement. Perhaps I'd go as far as to say bewilderment. And I am sincerely looking for an answer, if there is one.

I am puzzled as...

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Hong Kong Is in Urgent Need of Life Support and the United Kingdom Has a Responsibility to Act

(0) Comments | Posted 28 June 2016 | (00:26)

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The abduction of five Hong Kong booksellers, two of whom were European citizens, is the most chilling example of a much wider erosion of freedom in Hong Kong.

I lived in Hong Kong for the first five years of Chinese sovereignty,...

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I Never Met Jo Cox, But I Wish I Had. May She Rest in Peace, And May We Carry Her Banner of Love

(0) Comments | Posted 18 June 2016 | (20:44)

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I never met Jo Cox. But after reading about her amazing life in the hours after her awful murder, I wish I had.

I spent Friday evening at a vigil in Parliament Square, with hundreds of others, reflecting and celebrating...

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China Is Today's Goliath, And It Needs the Courage of David to Stand Up to It

(5) Comments | Posted 13 June 2016 | (18:22)

China's belligerence is making it look increasingly like the Old Testament warrior Goliath, not only in its size and power, but in its attitude to the rest of the world. But there the parallel ends, because among the international community - governments, corporations, international institutions - no David has yet...

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North Korean Defector's Appeal to Kim Jong-Un's Regime: Free My Father, Is That So Much to Ask?

(0) Comments | Posted 10 June 2016 | (14:39)

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Last Friday I went to Ealing, a London suburb, with a friend, to a very normal residential street to deliver two letters with one of the most basic requests any human being could make: for a son to be allowed to meet his...

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Burma: The Hope and the Truth

(1) Comments | Posted 5 April 2016 | (16:33)

Last week, Burma's first civilian President in half a century was inaugurated. Htin Kyaw is the first democrat, and perhaps the first good man, to lead Burma's government since General Ne Win ousted prime minister U Nu in a coup in 1962. So last week should have been a time...

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Shahbaz Bhatti: My Hero, My Colleague, My Friend and Brother

(0) Comments | Posted 1 March 2016 | (11:19)

Five years ago today, Pakistan's Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs, my friend Shahbaz Bhatti, was gunned down in broad daylight on his way to work. Here is my tribute to him, prepared to be read out today at events in Pakistan to commemorate the fifth anniversary of his...

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China Is a Bully We Need to Stand Up To - Because No One Is Safe in China Today

(2) Comments | Posted 1 March 2016 | (10:51)

Twenty-four years ago, I went to China to teach English. I was eighteen years old, and it was just three years after the Tiananmen massacre. I fell in love with China, with its people, history and culture; I learned some Chinese; and over the subsequent years I travelled regularly throughout...

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If I Had a Vote in the US Race I'd Vote for Marco Rubio, and for Hope Over Anger

(0) Comments | Posted 29 February 2016 | (15:13)

America's politics today is depressing - and scary. I say that as a true friend of the United States, someone who believes passionately in the 'special relationship' between our two countries, has lived in Washington, DC, travels across the Atlantic regularly, has many American friends, and as an admirer of...

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Should I Stay or Should I Go - The Clash That Makes Me a Floating Voter in the EU Referendum

(0) Comments | Posted 27 February 2016 | (10:25)

For the first time in my life, I am a floating voter. I have four months in which to make up my mind. At this stage, I am genuinely undecided which way I will vote in the referendum on Britain's relationship with the European Union. My position right now is...

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Two Years on From UN Report on North Korea's Crimes Against Humanity, It's Time to Act

(0) Comments | Posted 21 February 2016 | (15:26)

Two years ago today, the United Nations published the most authoritative and comprehensive analysis of the world's most closed, and most cruel, regime: North Korea. The report, the result of a year-long Commission of Inquiry chaired by the much respected former Australian High Court Judge Michael Kirby concluded...

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Freedom of Religion or Belief Is the Most Basic Right of All, It Affects Us All, And It Is Under Increasing Threat Worldwide

(22) Comments | Posted 12 August 2015 | (09:07)

Noman Masih died on 15 April, after being set on fire in Lahore, Pakistan, simply because he had identified himself as a Christian. He was just 13 years old.

Just under a month later Ananta Bijoy Das was hacked to death with machetes in north-eastern Bangladesh, simply...

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Free Maldives' Mohamed Nasheed From 'Alice in Wonderland' Trial - And Award Him the Nobel Peace Prize

(18) Comments | Posted 9 March 2015 | (14:30)

Far from its popular image as a tranquil, tropical paradise, with sun-drenched beaches, crystal-clear blue waters and honeymoon couples, the Maldives today is a cross between Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe and Alice in Wonderland, with elements of North Korea, Burma and radical Islamism thrown in.

Just under a decade ago,...

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A Year on From the UN Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea, It Is Time for Action

(2) Comments | Posted 18 February 2015 | (00:21)

By Jose Ramos-Horta, Mohamed Nasheed, Geoffrey Nice, David Alton and Benedict Rogers

A year ago yesterday, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on North Korea's human rights record published its damning report. It concluded that "the gravity, scale and nature" of the human rights violations in...

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Douglas Carswell Is Wrong to Play Political Theatre at a Time of Global Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted 30 August 2014 | (22:45)

Hundreds of column inches have already been written about Douglas Carswell's defection to UKIP, and I was initially reluctant to add to them. Yet there is an overlooked aspect of this whole saga that particularly jars with me, leaving me unable to stay silent, and it is this: how could...

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Will Hammond Keep Human Rights 'At the Very Heart' of Foreign Policy?

(3) Comments | Posted 7 August 2014 | (16:26)

Eight and a half years ago, I drafted a speech for William Hague as Shadow Foreign Secretary, containing a pledge to put human rights "at the very heart of foreign policy". I fully expected the draft to be diluted, qualified or amended, but it was not....

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Why Aren't People on the Streets for North Korea?

(0) Comments | Posted 5 August 2014 | (22:51)

Ten days ago, I spoke at an event in New Malden on North Korea, alongside a former captain in the North Korean army who has become one of the regime's most vocal exiled critics. About 40 people attended. I left satisfied - it seemed a good turnout for...

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Indonesia Is at a Crossroads - Its Future as a Pluralistic Democracy Hangs in the Balance

(1) Comments | Posted 27 June 2014 | (11:24)

A nation "at the crossroads" is a well-worn and overused phrase, but it is one that befits Indonesia today.

On 9 July, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation, third largest democracy, fourth most populous nation and south-east Asia's largest economy will elect a new President. The two candidates, Prabowo Subianto...

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If the UN Does Not Hold the World's Most Brutal Regime to Account, the World's Citizens Will

(0) Comments | Posted 17 June 2014 | (17:09)

Wicked leaders of the awful governments of oppressed countries can no longer ignore public opinion simply because the 'international community' - usually the UN - does nothing to stop the oppression. The citizen of the world has too much power at his or her fingertips to be disregarded and is...

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Kim Jong-Un - See You in Court

(1) Comments | Posted 18 March 2014 | (01:39)

Yesterday Australian judge Michael Kirby, who chaired the United Nations Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in North Korea, delivered a blisteringly brilliant presentation of his report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

I could, if I wished to be verbose, rehearse and reiterate the...

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