Use of Amateur Video To Fight Human Rights Abuses
According to its mission statement, witness.org "uses video and online technologies to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations. We empower people to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change."
It works with grassroots partners around the world and uses video:
- to corroborate allegations of human rights violations
- as a resource for news broadcasts
- to catalyze human rights advocacy via the worldwide web
- as evidence in court and quasi-judicial hearings
- to complement official written reports of human rights abuses
- as a deterrent to further abuse
Witness.org was founded by rock musician Peter Gabriel.
Earlier Library Boy posts about the use of video technology for human rights include:
- YouTube as a Legal Information Tool (January 14, 2007): "The Parisian daily Le Monde reported last week that lawyers representing an individual being detained by U.S. authorities at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp have produced a video posted on YouTube."
- More on YouTube as Legal Information Tool (March 30, 2007): "This Wednesday, Slate.com published an article entitled The YouTube Defense - Human rights go viral that analyzes the impact and potential of non-traditional means such as web 2.0 technologies as legal tools: (...) 'Critics pooh-pooh the importance of all of this by pointing to the fact that civil rights advocates have traditionally had a friend in the press. But they're missing the point: YouTube goes where the mainstream media can't or won't go. It's visceral. It's story first, message second. And it gives advocates instant access to an audience in a way that press releases and op-eds never ca' .The Slate article also describes an online video created by a former Marine who paid two friends $800 to waterboard him in his basement."