'Human Rights Film Tour' launched in Pakistan to commemorate the 70th year of UNDHR

Local news, 11.12.2017

Islamabad: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights entered the 70th year of its existence on 10 December 2017, the International Human Rights Day. The Embassy of Switzerland commemorated the event with the official launch of ‘Human Rights Film Tour’ that will bring six human rights films to 45 countries over the next one year. On this occasion, Geneva-based International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights’ (FIFDH) Director Isabelle Gattiker and filmmaker Juan José Lozano presented the documentary ‘Crime Hunters’ at Lok Virsa in Islamabad.

The screening of 'Crime Hunters' was followed by a panel discussion. (L-R) Moderator Waqas Rafique, Communication Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, with panelists Sarah Belal, Founder of Justice Project Pakistan, Christine Chung, Human Rights Officer at the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, Juan Lozano, Director of 'Crime Hunters,' Isabelle Gattiker, Director of the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights and Jan Figel, Special Envoy of the European Union. ©SDC

FIFDH, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights have joined forces to bring the ‘Human Rights Film Tour’ to over 45 countries including Zimbabwe, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Nigeria, Brazil, Cuba and Guatemala to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights next year.

Swiss embassies all over the world will screen ‘Crime Hunters’ and five other documentary films on human rights issues between 10 December 2017 and 10 December 2018, by organizing events based on the FIFDH’s “one film, one topic, one debate” format: screenings followed by debates with local NGOs, journalists, students and activists. The Embassy of Switzerland in Islamabad also held a screening of ‘Crime Hunter’ at its premises on 9 December 2017.

Directed by Nicolas Wadimoff and Juan José Lozano, the film portrays a team of Swiss lawyers from an organization called TRIAL (Track Impunity Always) International. Their mission is to track down perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity who are hiding in Switzerland and to bring them to justice.

The screening of ‘Crime Hunters’ at Lok Virsa was part of the closing ceremony of the ‘Human Rights through Cinematography’ film festival. The UN Information Centre together with the Embassy of Switzerland and other partners organized the ‘Human Rights through Cinematography’ film festival, which ran from 23 November to 10 December. The opening ceremony of the festival was held at the Embassy of Switzerland last month, followed by screenings of 25 documentaries at the UN Information Centre, partner embassies, Goethe-Institut and several universities across Pakistan and concluded with Sunday's screening.

Isabelle Gattiker, Director FIFDH said, “The International Film Festival and forum on Human Rights in Geneva is extremely proud to collaborate with the 'Human Rights through Cinematography' film festival in Pakistan, and we hope to continue this work together, sharing visions, stories and films that unite us for the defence of peace and human rights. Congratulations to the whole festival team, they have done a tremendous work.”

Thomas Kolly, Ambassador of Switzerland to Pakistan said: “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has set forth a common standard of achievement for all people and all nations and is as relevant as was in 1948. Swiss political model and the core values embedded in its historical tradition and legal orders defend and promote the universality, the interdependence and indivisibility of human rights.”

Sunday’s screening was followed by a panel discussion on “Defending Human Rights in troubled times: Dignity and Adversity.”