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Amnesty International official to speak at Bethel College

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – A Moundridge native and senior official for Amnesty International will be at Bethel College to tell about his recent experiences in Lebanon.

Curt Goering, senior executive director for Amnesty International USA, will speak on “The Hizbollah/Israel war: The impact on civilians” on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel. Goering’s appearance is sponsored by Bethel’s Amnesty International group, made up of students, faculty and community members, and is free and open to the public.

Amnesty International has had a near constant presence in Lebanon and Israel since the outbreak of hostilities in July 2006 and after the ceasefire in August, in order to assess the impact of the war on civilians on both sides of the border. AI’s reports, accessible via the Web online, are based on interviews with dozens of survivors and victims of the attacks, discussions with United Nations, Israeli military and Lebanese government officials as well as senior Hizbollah officials, and talks with Israeli and Lebanese non-governmental groups.

The AI delegations, which Goering led in August and September, assessed the human rights violations caused by destruction of civilian infrastructure and attacks on civilians in both Lebanon and Israel.

As senior deputy executive director for AIUSA, Goering currently works at the organization’s national section headquarters in New York City. He has been involved with AI at many levels for nearly 25 years, including positions at the international headquarters in London and at the government relations office in Washington, D.C.

Goering’s work involves program strategy and policy development, public representation and fund raising. He has carried out numerous assignments for AI’s Secretariat in London, including working in its research department and conducting various research missions in the field, particularly during human rights crises. Among the locations have been Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Bosnia, Lebanon, Turkey, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Jordan. He also participated in two missions to Mongolia.

Goering was born and raised in Kansas, in the Moundridge area. He spent nearly four years in Europe doing alternative service during the Vietnam War. He has a B.A. in peace studies from Bethel College and a master’s degree in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. He has also attended universities in the Middle East.

Amnesty International’s mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression and freedom from discrimination within the context of its work to promote all human rights.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and has been named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1998. For more information, see the Bethel web site at www.bethelks.edu.

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