One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival: A deeper look into the case of Syrian detainees
May 2, 2019
For the second year in a row, the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) was a partner of the annual One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Brussels. The festival hosts screenings of films on a range of human rights issues and features panel debates with experts, human rights campaigners and filmmakers on trends in the field of human rights.
This year, EED co-organised a screening of ‘Privacy of Wounds’ which was followed by a panel discussion on the subject of the detained and forcibly disappeared in Syria.
Over the course of three days, the powerful film directed by Dalia Kury, documents three former Syrian political detainees as they are locked up in a simulated prison cell, exchanging memories of their experiences in Syria’s darkest detention facilities.
The panel was composed of Mazen Darwish – President of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression and Salma Kahale – Director of Dawlaty. As a former Syrian detainee himself, Darwish commended the film for offering detailed insight into the conditions of detention in Syrian prisons adding that it is important to reveal beyond what is covered in the news, more than just numbers.
“The experiences of women inside prison and once they are released are different than men. There is a stigma placed on women who have been detained. Those who are sexually assaulted are also shamed” Kahale added.
The EED responds to a context where actors for change in societies struggling for democratisation sometimes face obstacles in accessing EU funding. The EED aims to add value by offering a dedicated rapid and flexible funding mechanism for beneficiaries who are not supported, are insufficiently covered or face difficulties in obtaining support from EU financial instruments, in particular for reasons of legal personality, administrative requirements or eligibility criteria. Beneficiaries may include journalists, bloggers, non-registered NGOs, loosely organised or fledgling pro-democratic movements and political movements (including those in exile or from the diaspora), in particular when all of these actors operate in a very uncertain political context.