As critics of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro took to the streets last week, citizen footage quickly became one weapon in the political crossfire. The deluge of crowd-sourced images coupled with press censorship has fueled accusations by both sides of media manipulation. The team here is working to sift through the emerging footage. In addition to the protests in Venezuela, we’ve got our eyes on Kiev, Sudan, Vietnam, and much more.  

North Korea:

North Korea has repeatedly refused requests by human rights monitors to enter the country.That’s why the UN panel looking into allegations of abuse is relying on testimony by North Koreans who escaped the regime. In these video testimonies, refugees and asylum seekers describe the torture and forced labor they endured in North Korean prison camps. 

Venezuela:

As protests and violent clashes fill the streets of Caracas and other Venezuelan cities, a war of images is taking place online. We have seen pro-Maduro and anti-Maduro activists and websites each release images purportedly indicting the other for abuse of power or media manipulation. We are gathering videos and working to verify their authenticity, but the situation underscores the need for careful verification, and we are exercising caution before distributing videos that may be intended to manipulate the press.

Vietnam:

This 6-second video was taken inside a Vietnamese police vehicle immediately after the arrest of eight activists. The blogger Bui Thi Minh Hang, human rights lawyer Le Quoc Quan, and other online activists remain under arrest amidst what the Committee to Protect Journalists has described as a widespread persecution of online bloggers and activists.

Sudan:

Peace talks between the government and rebel groups continue in Addis Ababa. This video by Nuba Reports gives insight into the challenges mediators face, as each side expresses little trust in the other and low expectations for the negotiations. “We can sign a beautiful agreement,” states chairman of the SPLM-N rebel group Malik Agar, “but it won’t be worth even the ink of the signature.” 

The most recent citizen videos of human rights issues can always be found on our Citizen Watch and Watching Syria video playlists. Both are updated daily. 

Catch the latest citizen videos by following the Human Rights Channel on Twitter (@ythumanrights).

Image from video uploaded by YouTube user Christoph Koettl.

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