Screening of 'Syria Through A Lens' documentary on film-maker Bassel Shehadeh

*Shehadeh’s sister, an Al Arabiya journalist, to launch new Syria freedom of expression foundation at event

Amnesty International will host a special film event on Tuesday 18 June on the Syrian film-maker Bassel Shehadeh, who was killed during a Syrian government assault on the city of Homs last year.

The event will feature a screening of “Syria Through A Lens”, a one-hour documentary film on Shehadeh’s life and work, followed by a panel discussion.

Bassel Shehadeh’s sister, Maria, a journalist at the Al Arabiya channel in Dubai, will attend the event to launch a new Syria freedom of expression foundation. The Bassel Shehadeh Foundation will raise funds to provide young Syrians with scholarships and grants to help them develop their skills in the arts and the media.

Shehadeh, a prominent activist who organised and documented peaceful anti-government protests in and around Homs, was killed - along with other activists - by Syrian army shelling in Homs on 28 May last year.

Syria is currently the deadliest country in the world for media workers, with at least 36 journalists killed in targeted attacks in the country since protests began. In a recent report, Shooting the Messenger: Journalists targeted by all sides in Syria, Amnesty reported that abuses against journalists have been carried out by both the Syrian authorities and armed opposition groups. Amnesty has paid tribute to “citizen journalists” in Syria, many of whom have risked their lives to ensure information about events in the country reaches the outside world.

The film screening will be followed by a discussion focusing on peaceful activism in Syria - something often overlooked amid Syria’s increasing violence. The event will be tweeted via #aiukBassel

In the days before the event, Amnesty International UK will be hosting a number of Syrian activists who practice non violence for a two day training session. This is part of our wider "transitions" work focused on helping to build an effective civil society  for the future Syria.

What: film screening and panel discussion, followed by an informal drinks reception

When: Tuesday 18 June 2013, 6.30pm for 7pm start (event 7.00-9.00)

Where: Amnesty International UK, The Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA

Cost: free - but please ensure you reserve tickets at: www.amnesty.org.uk/Bassel br />  

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