Foreign regimes continue to reach into the open societies to target and harass dissidents. To meet this ongoing challenge, RDI held its first Frontlines of Freedom Conference on transnational repression in Washington DC, where we convened an array of academics, policy experts, business leaders, and journalists who presented on and discussed the various ways foreign regimes threaten dissidents living in the United States.
Our conference hosted panel discussions that addressed the physical attacks and assassination attempts on dissidents, explained the weaponization of legal systems and foreign intimidation, and discussed how to protect free expression on college campuses from authoritarian influence. We also hosted working groups to discuss problems such as the immigration challenges dissidents face as they try to find safety in the US and the realities of foreign surveillance, data collection, and online harassment.
Our sponsors and partners included key organizations such as Johns Hopkins University, Freedom House, American Enterprise Institute (AEI), PEN America, World Liberty Congress, George W. Bush Institute, Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), Center for AI and Digital Policy (CAIDP), and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).
RDI is calling on Congress to pass the Transnational Repression Policy Act which will hold foreign governments accountable for the abuses they commit and elevate transnational repression as a foreign policy priority for the United States.