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Blog Action Day: 10 Videos on Climate Change + Human Rights

Regions: Global

Issues: Environment, Sustainable development, Water

Tags: carbon emissions, carbon footprint, climate change, environmental rights, human rights

It's Blog Action Day 2009 and 13000 bloggers (and the number keeps growing) from 155 countries are joining forces to spark a global conversation about climate change.  We're participating by highlighting 10 videos that help illustrate the connection between the climate crisis and human rights.  Watch, and then get involved.  The United Nations Climate Change Conference is quickly approaching and groups like TckTckTck and are helping organize events around the world to pressure global leaders to take decisive action at the meeting in December.  You can take part too -

Should You Believe Your Eyes? Allegations of Doctored Video from Sri Lanka

Regions: Southern Asia, Sri Lanka

Issues: Impunity, Violence, War crimes

Tags: ethics, extrajudicial executions, video, video authenticity, war crimes

UPDATE, 7 JANUARY 2010: As groundviews' citizen journalist Sanjana Hattotuwa tells us in the comments field below, the UN has just confirmed the authenticity of the video and called on the Sri Lankan government to take appropriate action.  Read the full press release here (thanks Sanjana!).

UPDATE, 15 DECEMBER: According to an independent investigator specializing in video forensics hired by The Times (UK), the Sri Lanka execution video is indeed authentic. According to the investigator, who is an instructor at the FBI National Academy, the video contains no evidence of editing, digital manipulation, or other special effects, but does contain subtle details consistent with a real shooting, such as smoke coming from gun barrels after shots are fired. Additionally, the expert found strong evidence that actors were not used - at that range, blanks would still cause serious injury or death, and the victims fall backward in a very realistic motion after being shot. The video was also found to have an embedded code matching the software found in Nokia mobile phones (The Sri Lankan government's investigators had claimed the video was shot on a sophisticated camera, not a mobile phone, as Channel 4 News had said).

Also contributing to the mounting evidence against the Sri Lankan government are the statements of retired General Sarath Fonseka, who claims that Sri Lankan Defense Minister Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, ordered the army to shoot surrendering Tamil leaders rather than imprison them. Fonseka is currently running for president against Rajapaksa, and has said he is not against a war crimes investigation. 

UPDATE, 26 OCTOBER: Two new claims have been made concerning the veracity of the Sri Lanka video and investigations into its authenticity. Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a U.S.-based pressure group, sponsored a study of the video by an as yet unnamed U.S.-based forensics company. According to TamilNet, the study found that the video was not tampered with or doctored. The study also cast doubt on the Sri Lankan inquiry that deemed the video fraudulent, stating that the experts had analyzed a second generation video from News Channel 4's Web site, not the original footage.

Every Woman Has a Story...

Regions: Global, Mexico, Yemen, Zimbabwe

Issues: Justice, Violence against women, Women's rights

Tags: Christiane Amanpour, dual injustice, Elections, Hear Us, politically motivated violence against women, RAU, robert mugabe, WITNESS

...and every story can create change.

Over the past year, WITNESS has partnered around the world with human rights defenders to tell the stories, on video, of human rights abuses. We've worked on the disappearances of women and girls in Mexico, the discrimination of women in Yemen, and the stories of political violence against women in Zimbabwe. Victims of human rights abuses tell their stories on video and those stories are used to create change.

Video Spotlight: Intimidation and Harassment

Regions: Global, United States

Issues: Violence, Women's rights

Tags: abortion, George Tiller, Harassment and Intimidation, pro-choice, reproductive rights

**This post is part of an ongoing series that showcases users and videos from the Hub**

Can you imagine being constantly harassed and persecuted because of your job?

This video by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) documents the real stories of abortion providers, clinic employees and patients who have been - and continue to be - subjected to intimidation and harassment as a result of their work and personal choices.  After the murder of Dr. George Tiller - shot and killed by an anti-abortion activist in May 2009 - many of these professionals are increasingly concerned about their safety.  Some doctors, like Jennifer Boulanger of Pennsylvania, have even had to face protestors picketing their homes: "Every day I worry about being shot or targeted, especially now that Dr. Tiller was murdered.  I've never felt this vulnerable in my job.

IsumaTV: Indigenous community media and online activism

Regions: Global, Canada

Issues: Corporations and human rights, Discrimination, Education, Environment, Food & health & development, Freedom of opinion & expression, Indigenous peoples, Internally displaced persons, Minorities, Sustainable development, Transitional justice

Tags: community media, indigenous media, inuit, social media

*This is the second post of our weekly series on Indigenous media.


Since I first heard of what folks were calling a 'YouTube for indigenous media' in early 2008, the word about IsumaTV has been spreading: in its first nine months the site registered almost 4 million hits. Since its birth, the internet portal for global Indigenous media has been reaching out and making a significant contribution to the online Indigenous media landscape. Though IsumaTV emerged out of a very interesting and prolific history of Inuit filmmaking practice, in this post I will be discussing the platform's increasingly global and political focus, made possible by a growing user base, new networking capabilities, and issue-based curation. The post is quite long, so if you are short on time, read up to the fold and bookmark IsumaTV to check out later. If you're really interested, keep scrolling!

TAKE ACTION: Support Choice in Housing for People with Psychiatric Disabilities in NY

Regions: United States

Issues: Housing, Mental disability rights

Tags: ADA, adult homes, Americans with Disabilities Act, CIAD, DAI, Disability Advocates, mental illness, supported housing

For 30 years, New York State has placed people with psychiatric disabilities in large, institutionalized adult homes where many remain for the rest of their lives. On September 8, a Federal judge ordered New York to offer residents of large adult homes an opportunity to move into community-based supported apartments. NY State could appeal the judge's decision and delay action for many more months, if not years.  We're calling on residents, friends, family members, and mental health practitioners to join our letter-writing campaign and ask Governor Paterson NOT to appeal this case. It's time to provide “decent housing, not warehousing,” for New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities.

A Critical Moment: Urge Your Senator to Pass the Elder Justice Act!

Regions: United States

Issues: Older persons

Tags: elder abuse, elder justice, elder justice act, Elders, financial exploitation, mental abuse, NCOA, Neglect, physical abuse, senior citizens

UPDATE, 22 SEPTEMBER: Good news, but your help is still urgently needed! U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus released a list of proposed amendments that he was immediately accepting for addition to the health care legislation. This document - called the "Chairman's Mark" - includes the original health reform legislation plus the automatically adopted amendments. This will likely the base text that the Committee members will debate.  The good news: the Elder Justice Act (EJA) was included in the Chairman's Mark. What does this mean for the EJA? It means that if the Finance Committee approves its version of health reform legislation later this week or next, the Senate will have once again approved the EJA. But we still need the U.S. House of Representatives for the EJA to become law. It also means that your voice is crucial for securing House support for the EJA - please act now.