The Nakamata Coalition is a partner of WITNESS
WITNESS combines the visceral power of documentary film with the courage of local human rights activists to generate action on behalf of millions of people.
WITNESS provides a voice to human rights advocates silenced by government-imposed barriers. WITNESS provides its Partners, human rights activists in more than 50 countries, with video cameras, portable editing equipment, and the training to take full advantage of the power of video technology.
But WITNESS is more than a provider of technology and training.
WITNESS works with its Partners to devise and implement strategic advocacy campaigns to build on the power of the documentary film to reach a wide range of activists, journalists, and policy-makers.
WITNESS partners featured in Seeing is Believing include Joey Lozano and NAKAMATA, the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team and Mental Disability Rights International
WITNESS Partner-produced video has been used:
_ as evidence in legal proceedings;
_ to produce shadow reports for United Nations regional commissions that provide a counterweight to official versions of a country's human rights performance;
_ to conduct grassroots education and mobilization;
_ to corroborate allegations of human rights violations;
_ as a resource for news broadcasts;
_ to promote human rights advocacy via the worldwide web; and
_ to produce documentaries for broadcast on television and for grassroots distribution.
WITNESS gets results
Our most current annual report and information on our partnerships, training, and archive are available online at www.witness.org
ACT NOW on WITNESS Partners' Campaigns
WITNESS is currently supporting a number of partner campaigns on issues featured in Seeing is Believing - go to the Rights Alert section of www.witness.org to learn how you can ACT NOW.
See the film that Joey Lozano produced with the NAKAMATA coalition. Rule of the Gun in Sugarland emerged as Lozano was working with NAKAMATA, an organization of landless peasants fighting for their right to ancestral lands, to train them to use video as a tool for documentation and advocacy. Members of NAKAMATA were documenting the peaceful and legal pursuit of ancestral land claims on the island of Mindanao, when three indigenous leaders were murdered, others attacked, and a village razed. Video suddenly became a tool for responding to these attacks. Even as police and authorities failed to act, Lozano and NAKAMATA were on the scene in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, documenting, gathering evidence, interviewing and recording the scene of the crime.
With Mental Disability Rights International we have worked to expose abuses against people with psychiatric illness or mental retardation in institutions around the world, and especially in Mexico. Click here to see 'Forgotten People' on the dramatic findings of their work in Mexico, and here to see raw footage from their investigations in Kosovo.
Our partners' work in Honduras mirrors the situation in the Philippines. In the Honduras, we are working with the Comite de Emergencia Garifuna to confront the patterns of discrimination that impact the Garifuna, an Afro-Honduran minority groups whose historic lands on Honduras' north coast lie full square in the eyes of wealthy landowners seeking areas to grow cash crops, and of tourist enterprises looking for the next beach paradise. In late November we will launch a web broadcast at www.witness.org on the struggle of the Garifuna community of Iriona Viejo against an illegal road through their land that has destroyed the watershed and opened the way for encroachers to seize their lands.
In Afghanistan, we support women's organizations combating the oppression, lawlessness and violence that still characterize life in Afghanistan following the demise of the Taliban. In the immediate aftermath of the war in Afghanistan, we co-produced Rise including hidden camera footage shot at great risk under the Taliban regime, as well as testimony from during the US bombing campaign.
In West Africa we supported locally-based refugee advocates at RADDHO to document what it means to be a refugee and to exist in the limbo of suspended rights. View the WITNESS Rights Alert Refuge on displacement and mass human right abuses in eastern Burma, we recently launched a Rights Alert featuring the testimonies of displaced villagers driven from their homes by the Burmese military. Fueling Abuse: Foreign Investment and Terror in Burma highlights the direct links between foreign money and the perpetration of large-scale human rights abuses in eastern Burma.
With the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) we are currently completing a documentary explaining the crucial role that forensic science can play in uncovering the truth in massacres and disappearances. Watch the WITNESS website at www.witness.org for more information on this issue in the upcoming months, or see A Right to Justice for information on the quest for justice in Guatemala where forensic anthropology has played a key role in revealing evidence of mass killings.
Supporting WITNESS' work
Please consider supporting WITNESS' work and the advocacy of our Partners by joining our network of supporters. Get involved!