If The Dead Could Speak

  |  Book Tickets: 15/03/2016
  |  90 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC
If The Dead Could Speak Film Poster


HRWFF Special ProgrammeIn August 2013, a military defector with the code name “Caesar” smuggled 53,275 photographs out of Syria. Human Rights Watch received the full set of images via the Syrian National Movement, a Syrian anti-government political group. Nine months of research revealed some of the human stories behind the photos, which included images of at least 6,786 people who had died in government custody. Human Rights Watch’s December 2015 report and video If the Dead Could Speak laid out new evidence regarding the authenticity of what are known as the “Caesar photographs,” identified several victims, and highlighted some of the key causes of death. In this special programme featuring the Human Rights Watch-produced video and an in-depth conversation with Nadim Houry, deputy director, Middle East and North Africa division, we will explore the investigative techniques used to assemble this report, the decision-making process around publishing the material, the exposure it garnered, and its impact to date. “Just about every detainee in these photographs was someone’s beloved child, husband, father, or friend, and his friends and family spent months or years searching for him. We have meticulously verified dozens of stories, and we are confident the Caesar photographs present authentic—and damning—evidence of crimes against humanity in Syria.” - Nadim Houry, deputy director, Middle East and North Africa Division