'We need to break the vicious circle in Darfur' Friday, 14 March, 2008The International Human Rights Film Festival continues in Geneva through Sunday. Highlighted on Wednesday was Darfur, where food aid has been cut by 50 per cent following the abduction earlier this week of seven World Food Program drivers and the theft of their trucks. According to the former representative of the UN Secretary-General to Sudan, the outlook for peace is dim. Jackie Campo spoke to Jan Pronk.
‘The US is undermining the ideal of human rights’ Thursday, 13 March, 2008Reed Brody, lawyer and Brussels-based spokesman for Human Rights Watch, has been in Geneva this week attending the International Human Rights Film Festival. Brody is renowned for his efforts to bring dictators such as Chile’s Augusto Pinochet and Chad’s Hissene Habré to justice. He has also been a constant thorn in the side of the U.S. government over the CIA’s secret detention programme for terror suspects. This is an issue that’s also being investigated by Swiss senator Dick Marty on behalf of the Council of Europe. World Radio Switzerland’s Adam Beaumont spoke to Brody at the festival and began by asking him whether the full truth will ever be known.
Is Uganda ready to embrace peace? Thursday, 13 March, 2008Uganda has been in the spotlight at the International Human Rights Film Festival taking place in Geneva. Betty Bigombe has been involved in peace negotiations between the Northern Ugandan government and the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army since the early 1990s, first as a government minister and now as a senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Early in the negotiations, Ms Bigombe initiated contact with the infamous rebel leader Joseph Kony whose LRA is perhaps best known for kidnapping children to be used as soldiers and sex slaves. The Ugandan government and the LRA are in talks to sign a peace agreement at the end of this month. Jackie Campo spoke with Ms Bigombe about the progress of human rights in Uganda and the possibility of real peace.
'Human-rights abuses are continuing in Nepal' Wednesday, 12 March, 2008After more than a decade of bloody civil war in which over 13,000 people died and hundreds of people disappeared, Nepal would appear to be on the road to recovery. A peace accord was signed between the government and Maoist rebels in 2006, the monarchy is being abolished, and Nepalis are due to elect an assembly next month to write a new constitution. But Nepali lawyer and human rights defender Mandira Sharma, who has been attending the International Human Rights Film Festival in Geneva, says the situation is far from rosy. World Radio Switzerland’s Adam Beaumont spoke to her at the festival, which runs until Sunday, and began by asking her whether human rights violations are still taking place in Nepal.
Rape in the Congo—a forgotten war Tuesday, 11 March, 2008The systemic rape and mutilation of possibly hundreds of thousands of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been highlighted at the International Human Rights Film Festival in Geneva, which runs until Sunday. The film, “The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo”, documents the horrors that thousands upon thousands of women, from young girls to grandmothers, face on a daily basis. WRS’s Adam Beaumont caught up with the film’s director Lisa F Jackson and started by asking her why so few people have probably ever heard of what Jackson herself describes as a “femicide”—a war against women.
Festival zooms in on populism and the far right Monday, 10 March, 2008The International Human Rights Film Festival, which is taking place in Geneva until March 16, has been looking at the rise of populism and the far-right in Europe. In recent years there has been a rightwing resurgence in many countries – not least Switzerland where the Swiss People’s Party secured around 30 per cent of the vote in last year’s general election. World Radio Switzerland’s Adam Beaumont caught up with Jerôme Jamin, an expert in populism and the far right at the University of Liège in Belgium, who has been speaking at the festival – and began by asking him what has changed.