Image from O Globo coverage of police clashing with indigenous community members outside of the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, 16 Dec 2013

Every day of the year, the Human Rights Channel strives to help journalists and researchers use verified citizen video to tell stories of human rights abuses. Whether in Syria, Cambodia, or the United States, we are motivated by the courageous work of citizen and community journalists around the world.

As we marked  International Human Rights Day last week, we wanted to draw attention to these filmers. Check them out on this list of 20 Citizen Journalists We Follow.

Here are some of the stories we’re following this week through citizen video:

  • The Violations Documentation Center in Syria is one of the most consistent, professional, and reliable resources for documentation of the Syrian conflict from the ground. At its helm has been the activist and lawyer Razan Zeitouneh. For International Human Rights Day, Zeitouneh recorded this video testimony, recounting what it is like to live under siege, describing the experience as a slow and painful death. “How can you explain to another,” she says, “that your child hasn’t eaten egg or drank milk for several months?” Shortly after recording this, Zeitouneh was abducted, along with activists Wael Hamada, Samira Khalil and Nazim Hamadi. Today, Zeitouneh’s family posted this letter about the abduction on Facebook.
  • Barrel bombs rained down on Aleppo this weekendkilling dozens of civilians, including 28 children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. For curated videos from the conflict shot by Syrian citizen journalists, see our Watching Syria playlist, which includes footage from the aftermath of the weekend’s bomb attacks.
  • This morning we watched live-stream video (here and here) from Rio de Janeiro as riot police moved in on an indigenous community living next to the Maracanã stadium. For over a year, indigenous activists have occupied the vacant space (formerly the Museum of the Indian) that authorities now want to demolish to turn into shopping centers. The Maracanã Stadium will host final game of the 2014 World Cup. (For more background, see this video playlist.) Today’s footage depicts a crane used to attempt to force indigenous leader José Urutau Guajajara from a tree.
  • We’re tracking the latest on the streets of Kiev, Ukraine. While we strive to bring you the view from the ground, sometimes another perspective is needed. This video, shot from a drone-mounted camera on Saturday night,  gives an unparalleled sense of the crowd’s size, estimated at more than 200,000.

The most recent citizen videos of human rights issues can always be found on our Citizen Watch and Watching Advocacy video playlists. Both are updated daily. Catch the latest citizen videos by following the Human Rights Channel on Twitter (@ythumanrights).

This will be our last weekly update for 2013. Check back soon for our year in review.

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