International Day of Human Rights

To commemorate the International Day of Human Rights the European Centre and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Albania organized a very special activity. As 10th of December reminds us all about our fundamental rights and freedoms, the Netherland’s Embassy decided to expand the specter of the celebrations on initiating the week of “Movies that Matter Marathon”.  The successful cooperation between our Centre and the Embassy consisted on presenting a documentary on the freedom of expression and freedom of press in Belarus called: “Dangerous acts starring the unstable elements of Belarus”.

This short documentary was not only relevant on the topic of defending human rights in every country in the world, but it was also relevant with the history of Albania.  Presented by the main characters themselves, it showed the real situation and facts of how a dictator kept Belarus in control for many years. People were suffering and they were scared to go and protest for their rights because of imprisonment. Even though a clear violation of HR occurred, few states in the world were concerned about the issue. Partly because the information that circulated in the media in Belarus was either biased or manipulated and hard for foreigners to get. The press was the foremost enemy of the government each time they would speak against their propaganda. Actors were also suffering from the seize of the right to speak and expression of the opinion. Practically you could either follow the lessons proclaimed by the government or your life would be at great risk. The end of the documentary was quite shocking, but so true that it hit you.

It inferred that in a capitalist world that we live now, what really matter is real-politic, the interests of states. Since Belarus has not any strategic location or is not rich in natural resources, it is very hard to get the attention of great states so they can impose regulations and sanctions to the government for the future implementation of human rights. This also raises questions on the effectiveness of UN as a body and of NGO-s as important stakeholders in the society. However it reflected deeply the situation of Belarus under the rule of their President-Dictator and how people were suffering the consequences of such a regime. The situation resembles a lot to the one of Albania during the communist regime. So the student who were present in watching and commenting the documentary could also think about the communist Albania, the deprivation of rights, limitation of freedom of speech and a lot of other un-justices that occurred during that period.

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