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

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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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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