Darfuri youth activist Abdalamgeed Haroun to speak
Abdalmageed S. Haroun will join a panel sponsored by the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition on Monday, Feb. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Squirrel Hill Branch of the Carnegie Library, Meeting Room B. The event is free and open to the public, with free refreshments. Haroun joins Professor Louis Picard of GSPIA at the University of Pittsburgh (a recent visitor to Juba), John Prednergast, co-founder of the Enough Project, Sudanese community leader Benedict Killang and PDEC coordinator David Rosenberg, in a discussion on the future of Sudan and the challenges of Sudan advocacy. The event is part of the PDEC 2011-2012 Speaker Series, which will feature Ambassador Dane Smith, senior advisor on Darfur in the U.S. State Department; and Rebecca Hamilton, author of “Fighting for Darfur, Pubic Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide,” later this year.
Haroun is uniquely equipped to speak on these issues. He is originally from the city of Al Gineina in West Darfur and is a graduate of the University of Juba. In 2005, he co-founded the Darfur Democratic Forum and served as the president of the Youth for Peace Society from 2002 to 2008. He has worked as part of Sudanese civil society in support of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and participated in an ICC review conference in Kampala. Haroun served as Protection Officer at the Humanitarian Aid French Organization in West Darfur in 2007 and worked with the Carter Center during the last Sudan election.
Because of his work in documenting and monitoring human rights abuses in Darfur, Haroun was abducted in 2009 by the Sudanese Security and Intelligence Service (NISS). He was tortured and kept in jail without charge for a long time. He was released in January 2010 but was arrested again in March 2010 in Khartoum from his office at the Carter Center where he was monitoring the 2010 Sudan elections as a local observer. He was evacuated by a human rights group to Kampala (Uganda) and eventually to the U.S. He currently lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he is chairperson of the Human Rights and Advocacy Network for Darfur (HAND) and is a leading member of the Sudanese diaspora community of New York and New Jersey.
Haroun will be in Pittsburgh from Monday afternoon to Tuesday evening. After the panel he will join fellow panelists and PDEC supporters for a dinner in Squirrel Hill and then will be going to a meeting with Darfuri diaspora refugees settled in Pittsburgh. Right now we are scheduling further meetings for him on Tuesday, February 13 up to 3 pm. Contact David Rosenberg at 412-992-0102 to set up a meeting or for more information.