The Human Family calls for the release of human rights defender Tatsiana Hatsura-Yavorska

April 13, 2021

The Human Family, founder and facilitator of the North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival, joins the Human Rights Film Network,  other film festivals from around the world and the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk joined a global call for the release of Belarusian cultural activist and human rights defender Tatsiana Hatsura-Yavorska, Director of the International Film Festival WATCH DOCS Belarus, who was arrested in Minsk on the 5th of April, along with several other human rights defenders. 

In an open letter addressed to Belarusian authorities, the film festivals called for the release of Tatsiana Hatsura-Yavorska and the other human rights defenders deprived of their liberty. 

“We urge the Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release our colleague Tatsiana Hatsura-Yavorska and other human rights defenders, and to end acts of judicial harassment against them”, said Human Rights Film Network board member, Florencia Santucho, Director of the Buenos Aires International Human Rights Film Festival.

Also, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of the International Federation for Human Rights and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), issued an urgent appeal strongly condemning the arrests and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Hatsura-Yavorska and the other defenders.

Text of the open letter:

“We, the undersigned representatives of the Human Rights Film Network and film festivals from around the world, call upon the authorities of the Republic of Belarus to immediately and unconditionally release Tatsiana Hatsura-Yavorska, the Director of the International Film Festival WATCH DOCS Belarus and the educational NGO Zvyano, as well as other human rights defenders deprived of their freedom.  

We received with utmost concern information that a criminal case is being initiated against Tatsiana Hatsura-Yavorska. 

We urge the government of Belarus to respect Tatsiana Hatsura-Yavorska’s right to freedom of expression and personal freedom. Hatsura-Yavorska has made essential contributions to Belarusian culture and for the promotion of fundamental values that are universally shared by our global film community, of which WATCH DOCS Belarus is a member.

The WATCH DOCS Belarus festival belongs to the world family of human rights film festivals – the Human Rights Film Network.  We will not forget about our beloved colleague, Tatsiana.

We express our solidarity with Tatsiana’s family. “

Human Rights Film Network
International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk
European Film Academy
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
International Film Festival Rotterdam
Documentary Association of Europe
Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes
European Film Promotion
European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA)
Film Producers Association of Latvia
Institute of Documentary Film
International Documentary Association
MADOKE, Hungarian Documentary Association
Oberoende Filmares Förbund (OFF)
Scottish Documentary Institute
1905 International Human Rights Film Festival, Hong Kong
Active Vista International Human Rights Film Festival, Philippines
Bergen International Film Festival
Censurados Film Festival, Peru
Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Ukraine
Document Film Festival, Scotland
Festival de Cine y Derechos Humanos, San Sebastian
Festival del Cinema dei Diritti Umani di Napoli
Festival du Film et Forum International sur les Droits Humains (FIFDH), Switzerland
Festival Internacional de Cine de Derechos Humanos, Argentina
FiSahara (Western Sahara International Film Festival)
Freedom Film Festival, Malaysia
Human Rights Nights, Italy
International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival “Inconvenient Films”, Lithuania
International Human Rights Film Festival in Albania
Karama Beirut Human Rights Film Festival
Movies that Matter Festival, Netherlands
Muestra de Cine Internacional Memoria Verdad Justicia / International Film Festival Memory Truth Justice, Guatemala
Muestra de Cine Social y Derechos Humanos de Asturies (MUSOC), Spain
Nepal Human Rights Film Festival
Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival
Red Carpet Human Rights Film Festival, Palestine
WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film International Film Festival, Poland
Vermont International Film Festival, USA
Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Hungary
American Film Festival, Poland
CinéDOC Tbilisi Documentary Film Festival
FID, Festival International de Cinéma de Marseille
FIPADOC – International Documentary Festival, France
goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film, Germany
Human Rights Film Festival Berlin
Krakow Film Festival
New Horizons International Film Festival, Poland
Nordisk Panorama Film Festival
One World Romania
Tampere Film Festival
Tempo Documentary Festival, Sweden
Thessaloniki International Film Festival
When East Meets West, Italy
Visions du Réel Nyon International Film Festival, Switzerland
The Human Family, United States

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