As Venezuelan authorities crack down on the media, reporting by citizens and activists fills a critical gap to document the situation in the country. However, as we have seen in Syria and Egypt before, just as citizen reporting and social media can illuminate human rights abuse, they can also facilitate the spread of misinformation. Keep an eye on the HRC on YouTube and here on the blog for verified videos, and the context needed to understand what they depict.
Here are highlights from recently featured videos on the channel:
In Venezuela, social media has taken a central role in documenting the opposition protest movement and abuse by the authorities. One trending video does indeed document police abuse, however, months earlier and in a different country. See our latest blog post for a discussion of a video that has stood in for no less than three Latin American political movements, and resources to effectively film and find verifiable online footage. Our Venezuela YouTube playlist compiles the most recent verified citizen video.
The human rights situation in Western Sahara is the focus of a conference Tuesday in the British Parliament. The conference follows a recent visit by MP Jeremy Corbyn to the contested region, where he visited with Sahrawi activists. Several local activists documented that trip, during which the delegation met with mothers of missing youth, and activists surrounded the delegation’s car to express their protest of Moroccan rule. For more videos by media activists in Western Sahara documenting violence and repression of activism by Moroccan authorities, see this latest Human Rights Channel blog on videos of police beating a female protester in Laayoune.
This week the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights spoke out about the alarming number of deaths of migrants by U.S. Border Patrol. On February 18, 41-year-old Jesus Flores Cruz became the 27th migrant to be killed by agents in the past four years. The situations surrounding several of those deaths has come to light via eyewitness video, such as the fatal electroshock of Anastazio Rojas in 2010. For more, see this video playlist on the topic.