Human Rights Watch Festival 2 Days………ends tomorrow

2 days left to experience first hand the stories in this year’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival London – closing on 16 March with the screening of is SILAS – and in the company of Silas Siakor himself!

“When they tear down the trees and strip the land, they tear down our people and strip away their lives.” – Silas Siakor, film subject, Silas

Resigned from the Sustainable Development Institute, which he founded in 2002, in October 2017 Silas ran as a candidate in Liberia’s general elections, as the representative of Bong county, his home district. Following controversies surrounding votes registration and calls for re-runs, Silas is still very much actively engaged with Liberia’s social issues and politics,

“For 15 years I challenged different governments to do better. From President Charles Taylor, to President Gyude Brayant and now President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf – I challenged them to use the resources of this country to improve the living conditions of our people; I challenged them to ensure that the wealth of our country benefits all”, he said for Front Page Africa in October last year.

Recipient of 2006 Goldman Prize, Silas is known to have expressed support for the newly elected president George Weah, although remaining wary of the challenges ahead, advising in an article for Al Jazeera:

“If Weah can bring his work ethic from the field, and assemble a formidable team comprising both women and men with surplus intelligence and integrity, he may well succeed.  Anything short of this would mean the president risks losing favour quickly with those who elected him to score the most important goal of transforming Liberia.”

The documentary film featured in HRWFF programme highlights the plunder of Liberia’s rich natural resources due to local and national corruption, the illegal behaviour of multinational corporations and the collusion of local agencies. The film follows Silas during his time as the Sustainable Development Institute, and explores environmental activism and the use of technology developments as additional asset in fighting social/political/economical injustice.

Book here: https://ff.hrw.org/film/silas

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