World Issues

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Assassination in Minsk – A Witness Speaks Out | 864935

Political murders in Belarus: For the first time a witness has spoken out in an exclusive interview. Twenty years ago, three prominent members of the opposition disappeared without a trace. Back then rumors began to circulate that they had been assassinated by a death squad. Were the three men Yuri Zakharenko, Viktor Gonchar and Anatoly Krasovsky, all members of the opposition, abducted and murdered by a hit squad in 1999? This is the rumor that has circulated ever since. Yet the presumed contract killings under the authoritarian leadership of President Alexander Lukashenko have never been proven. Now a key witness has come forward to shed light on the matter. At the time of the killings, Yuri G. was serving in a special unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Now he has revealed insider knowledge of the crime. He depicts the precise sequence of events, from the kidnappings to the disposal of the bodies. The former elite soldier names the culprits and admits to being an accessory to the murders. His information leaves little doubt that in 1999 government agencies in Minsk brutally eliminated the leaders of the opposition in Belarus. How do the relatives of the deceased react to this disclosure? What does it mean for the already tense relationship between Belarus and Europe? And what is it like to live with such guilt?

Between India and Pakistan – The Sikh Dilemma | 864936

India and Pakistan traditionally have hostile relations, but there is hope on one front, at least. In order to enable the Sikhs from India to make a pilgrimage to one of their holiest shrines, a “peace corridor” has been opened between the two countries. Sikhs constitute the fourth largest religious community in India, but find themselves are caught between India and Pakistan, between Hindus and Muslims. The majority of Sikhs worldwide live on the Indian subcontinent. The hostile relations between India and Pakistan since partition in 1947 meant that for decades Sikhs were unable to visit their holiest shrine. Despite ongoing political tensions – especially concerning Kashmir – 73 years after their separation, India and Pakistan have fulfilled a promise that was made 20 years ago: on the occasion of the 550th birthday of the founder of their religion, Sikhs in India can now use a new border crossing to make a pilgrimage to the mausoleum of Guru Nanak in Kartarpur, Pakistan – four kilometers behind the border. The Kartarpur Corridor was opened on schedule by the prime ministers of the two countries – albeit not in a joint ceremony. Both spoke of a new “Peace Corridor”. The opening of the corridor on 9 November 2019, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, was no coincidence; Indian prime minister Narendra Modi directly compared the two historic events. This documentary accompanies an Indian Sikh who goes to Pakistan for the first time as part of a very special pilgrimage, while for outsiders also providing a better understanding of Sikhs as well as India and Pakistan.

#MyEscape | 86 4862

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled to Germany, enduring harrowing experiences along the way. Many have recorded their dramatic stories themselves in video on their cell phones, without the help of filmmakers or news teams. For most refugees, the cell phone is an indispensable tool in the organization of their escape. At the same time, they use their phones to store memories of home and to document the stations of their long and dangerous journeys.
Social networks are buzzing with clips that tell of such flights. The documentary #MyEscape has gathered together some of these stories: the refugees’ videos tell of their homelands, their departure and the different stages of their escape. The refugees also comment on their video footage. The end result is an impressive, first-hand account of people forced to leave their homes and go in search of safety.

Held Captive by IS – A Young Yazidi Woman’s Ordeal | 86 4863
Faten is a member of the Yazidi religious sect, one of Iraq’s oldest minorities and a target of Islamic State persecution. The young woman was among thousands of Yazidi held captive in Iraq by IS. For 100 days she was repeatedly raped, beaten and otherwise abused until she managed to escape. Then Faten was allowed to settle in Germany thanks to a special program launched by the state of Baden-Württemberg to help victims of sexual violence in northern Iraq and Syria. She is still haunted by her traumatic experiences and worries constantly about her parents and brother, whose whereabouts are unknown.

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