From Turkey to South Korea to Nigeria, citizens are taking to the streets, calling on their government do more to ensure their safety–at school, on the job, and in their communities. This week we are monitoring the impact of those social movements. Also, we invite you to join our discussion on the ethics of curating citizen video.

Here are highlights from recently featured videos on the channel:


The explosion at Soma mine in western Turkey on May 13, which killed more than 300 workers, has given citizens one more reason to protest the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. From the day after the explosion up to this past weekend, protesters in Istanbul and Soma have expressed anger over the government’s enforcement of workplace safety and its handling of the explosion. On Sunday24 people, including executives of the mining company, were detained in investigations over the incident.

South Korea

On Saturday, tens of thousands of South Koreans rallied in Seoul in support of families of those killed last month’s ferry disaster.Videos like this one show the crowd chanting, “We will not sit still,” a reference to an announcement made by the ferry captain after the boat encountered trouble. According to local sources, dozens of people were arrested in the peaceful protests and rallies last weekend. In an emotional televised speech on Monday, President Park Geun-hye apologized for the disaster, and announced the dismantling of the coast guard.

This week, we’re keeping our eyes on: 


Nigeria, where activists are planning a Thursday rally calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to step down after his current term in office. The president has been under mounting pressure as activists inside and outside the country say his administration has failed to address Boko Haram, the growing militant movement responsible for the kidnapping of more than 300 schoolgirls last month.

South Africa

South Africa, where the trial of nine policemen involved in the brutal death of a taxi driver is scheduled to resume next Monday. The rare arrest and trial of officers for an extrajudicial killing is due to eyewitness video of the incident, which took place last February. When the Mozambican taxi driver, Mido Macia, fought a parking ticket, officers handcuffed him to the back of their vehicle and drove off, dragging him down the road. The trial, originally scheduled to begin a year ago, has suffered several delays.

On the WITNESS blog, we’re weighing in on a discussion taking place in the journalism community on the ethics involved in curating citizen video, and we invite you to chime in. What sorts of videos could cause greater harm then good by sharing? How can we make sure to protect those behind and in front of the cameras of the online videos we watch? What other questions should we factor into decisions to share videos of human rights abuse? It’s an important and timely issue for the journalism community as well as those of us in human rights. 

Finally, the Human Rights Channel is taking an early summer break. We’ll return with our weekly updates next month.

Image: A video still from Youtube user Emrah Yusufoglu of protesters in Turkey 

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