UNAC-Vancouver sponsor’s DOXA film

unacto1The United Nations Association in Canada (Vancouver Branch) was pleased to sponsor a film at the 2015 DOXA Documentary Film Festival.

The screening of Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd was held at the VanCity Theatre on Wednesday, May 6, 2015.   The screening was well-attended, and the audience was clearly engaged in the issues presented in the film.

The film charts the incredible journey of a group of 22 men who are members of the Uyghur community. The Uyghurs are a minority grouScreen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.45.13 PMp of Turkic-speaking Muslims living in western China. In fleeing persecution in their own country, they were unwittingly caught up as victims in the so-called “war on terror” which began in the Middle East in 2001. They eventually found themselves transported to the American military base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where they were detained for several years.

UNAC-Vancouver board members at the DOXA screening

The film was included in the festival’s Justice Forum, so it was followed by a thought-provoking question and answer session. The guest speaker was Dr. Nicole Barrett of the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Barrett has worked extensively in the international human rights arena, and has witnessed the difficult circumstances faced by prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

photo-4The evening concluded with informal discussions with audience members at the UNAC information table in the lobby of the theatre.

Our thanks to Dr. Nicole Barrett, Executive Director Kenji Maeda, Programming Coordinator Selina Crammond, and to all DOXA staff and volunteers for making this year’s festival such a success. We look forward to working with you again in the future!

Please click here to read UNAC-Vancouver Board Member Karen Truscott’s Opening Remarks at the event : DOXA Opening Remarks

UNAC proud to sponsor DOXA film Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd

DOXA2015-Poster_webThe United Nations Association of Canada – Vancouver branch is pleased to sponsor an upcoming film at the DOXA documentary festival.  The film is entitled Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd and will be showing on Wednesday, May 6th at 6:00 PM at VanCity Theatre.  The film will be followed by a Justice Forum discussion.

The film follows twenty-two Muslims from China’s Uyghur minority who fled China, but were unfortunate enough to be rounded up in the months following the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan.  Patricio Henriquez’s film follows their journey from China to the Middle East and then to the detention prison at Guantánamo where they were imprisoned without trial for up to eleven years. Even after being proven innocent, they were stuck in a legal black hole.  In- depth candid interviews with three of the former detainees, now resettled in other countries around the world, bring to light the shocking injustices of these little-known victims of the War on Terror.  This documentary encourages us to closely consider the religious, political and cultural persecution of minority groups, many of which are ignored by the international community, swept under the carpet for larger political reasons.

uyghursTo see a trailer of the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-S9eqBQeao

To go to the DOXA webpage on the film: http://www.doxafestival.ca/film/uyghurs

We hope to see many UNAC-Vancouver members there!