This week on the Human Rights Channel, we’re curating video of protests against child rape at the hands of Sri Lankan armed forces, Syrian migrants traveling to Europe and Lebanon, Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria and the ongoing stream of content coming out of Gaza and Israel.
Tamil women’s groups held a protest in front of the High Court in Jaffna to express their outrage about the rape of children by Sri Lanka’s military. The alleged rape of an 11-year-old girl by a naval officer has been widely reported, but is only one of several similar reports. Human rights groups have long documented the Sri Lankan army’s use of sexual violence as a weapon. This article by TamilNet includes a video and photos from the recent protest.
According to the TamilNet report, government intelligence operatives harassed several journalists covering the story of rape by the Sri Lankan military, and confiscated their footage. The same day, a group of journalists was harassed while traveling from Jaffna to a training in Colombo. This post by the Jaffna Press Club recounts how the group was trailed on the road and then stopped at a checkpoint, where officers planted evidence of a crime in their vehicle, took them into a station, and confiscated the journalists’ IDs, phones, and laptops. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned this and other threats against journalists meant to stifle just the sort of reporting on human rights issues that TamilNet and others continue to conduct.
As the daily death toll of the Syrian war approaches its highest level in three years, Syrians who have managed to escape the country are facing new challenges in their attempt to find refuge from violence.
According to the UNHCR, 800 people have died at sea this year trying to get to Europe. Many of the migrants taking this perilous journey are Syrians, but others come from Eritrea, Mali, and other countries in conflict. “No one knew how to drive the boat,” recounts one survivor in the video above, produced by the UNHCR.
Lebanon has received the highest number of Syrian refugees of any country–more than 1.1 million. A video that went viral earlier this month depicts the scene of a Lebanese child beating up a Syrian child, while older voices off-camera encourage the violence. It attracted mass media attention, resulted in two arrests, and raised the profile of the treatment of Syrian refugees in the country.
The mass abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram in April brought widespread attention to the militant extremist group. More than 200 girls and women remain in captivity, and thousands of Nigerians live under the threat of Boko Haram’s attacks each day. “Every day, people would scream ‘Boko Haram are coming,’” says a young relative of one of the kidnapped girls in this video by ActionAid. “All the family would run and hide in the fields.”
Gaza & Israel
As we curate videos from the perspective of those living and working in Gaza and Israel on the Human Rights Channel, we’ve observed a proliferation of old videos taken out of context and shared with misleading descriptions on social media. We warn viewers to be cautious when viewing and sharing online videos. Click here for an English and Arabic language tipsheet on how to authenticate open source video. The Citizen Evidence Lab is another resource to help investigate the authenticity of online video.
The Human Rights Channel features in-depth coverage of human rights issues around the world, through the lenses of citizen witnesses. Curated by WITNESS, verified by Storyful, and hosted on YouTube, it a source for raw footage and informed context on human rights issues worldwide.
Featured image taken from video uploaded by Youtube user Actionaid.