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

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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Indonesia: Pluralism in Peril

(0) Comments | Posted 10 March 2014 | (17:40)

Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation, third largest democracy, fourth most populous country and sixteenth largest economy is at a crossroads: politically, economically and socially.

This year, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono leaves office after a decade in power. In many respects, Indonesia has much to celebrate. After a remarkable transition...

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North Korea Is the World's Worst Human Rights Crisis - It Can No Longer Be Its Most Forgotten

(0) Comments | Posted 26 February 2014 | (21:53)

North Korea is arguably the world's worst human rights crisis, in the world's most closed nation - but it can no longer be its most forgotten.

Last week's publication of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry report on human rights in North Korea, with its damning conclusion...

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It's Time to Stick Our Necks Out for Maajid Nawaz and Freedom of Speech

(53) Comments | Posted 29 January 2014 | (10:44)

I am not a Liberal Democrat. I am a Conservative. And I'm not a Muslim. I'm a Christian. But if I were a resident of Hampstead and Kilburn, I would have a serious dilemma. I might - just might - consider voting Liberal Democrat in that constituency, for the first...

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My 14 Priorities for 2014

(0) Comments | Posted 21 December 2013 | (22:36)

I have long been an admirer of Jack Healey. I have never met him, but I have followed his work and felt a kindred spirit across the Atlantic. Therefore I read his human rights priorities for 2014 with eager anticipation. I must admit, I was sorely disappointed. While...

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We Three Kims of Orient Are: Time to End North Korea's Reign of Terror

(0) Comments | Posted 16 December 2013 | (14:22)

In North Korea, the only Christmas carol that is permitted to be sung is "We Three Kims of Orient Are". Two years ago today, the second member of the Kim trinity, Kim Jong-il, died, and a week ago his son, North Korea's young ruler Kim Jong-Un, executed his own uncle...

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Ambassador Mark Palmer: Freedom's Champion

(0) Comments | Posted 21 August 2013 | (19:45)

In case you read no further, I want to say one thing: watch this video.

Diplomacy is only ever as good as its diplomats. There are times to take a robust position, times to pressure a regime, times even to go to war where truly necessary, and there...

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Our Lady, The Lady, The Iron Lady

(1) Comments | Posted 19 August 2013 | (22:33)

There are many people, men and women, whom I admire immensely and several with whom I have been privileged to work. There are the heroes of struggles for freedom, those are often unknown and those who are well-known, such as East Timor's Xanana Gusmao and Jose...

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The Four Horsemen of Intolerance

(0) Comments | Posted 23 July 2013 | (20:39)

Four brands of intolerance are on the rise around the world. We could call them the 'Four Horsemen of Intolerance'. They take different forms, shaped by different beliefs, with differing levels of effect, but in essence they have much in common.

The first, most well-known and yes, most dangerous, is...

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Musings on America: Land of Extremes

(0) Comments | Posted 19 July 2013 | (15:33)

America may be the land of the free, but it is also the land of extremes. For a British person, for whom "moderation in all things" can be an article of faith sometimes taken to the extreme, America invokes wonderment, excitement but occasional challenge as well.

Over the past decade,...

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Burma's President Thein Sein Must Be Given Benchmarks and Timelines for Progress During His Visit to the UK

(7) Comments | Posted 15 July 2013 | (10:36)

Burma's President Thein Sein arrived in London last night, the first such visit in almost thirty years. Today, he and David Cameron will meet.

Until a year ago, such a visit would have been unthinkable. Burma's regime was a pariah, facing sanctions and growing calls for an...

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Blasphemy May Be Offensive, But Blasphemy Laws Kill

(56) Comments | Posted 10 July 2013 | (00:00)

As a Christian, there is one thing I dislike even more than blasphemy, and that is legislation that prohibits it. Such laws invariably contribute to increasing intolerance, violence and injustice, and are widely open to misuse. And the key point is, if your God needs man-made...

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