A Matter of ACT Activists 2013

An extended version of the potraits of the A Matter of ACT activists (in English) was published under the title A Matter of ACT - Ten Human Rights Heroes. This book can be ordered through the Amnesty International webshop. The book is free of charge, you'll only pay shipping fee. For each activist a short version of the portrait is published online. Click on the name of the activist to read the portrait.

Robi Damelin

‘This for me is one of the most difficult letters I will ever have to write. My name is Robi. I am the mother of David who was killed by your son…’ With these moving words starts the letter which Israeli Robi Damelin, from  One Day After Peace, sent to the Palestinian parents of the sniper who killed her son David. Damelin refuses to be the victim. Read more about Robi Damelin.

Shin Dong-huyk

Shin Dong-hyuk (30), portrayed in  Camp 14: Total Control Zone, was born in a North Korean concentration camp, where labour slaves are sentenced to spend the rest of their lives. He is the only person known to have escaped from such a camp. Now he works tirelessly to tell the world about the North Korean atrocities. Read more about Shin Dong-hyuk.

Victor Erofeyev

Author Victor Erofeyev, portrayed in the film Russian Libertinehas extremist groups in Russia breathing down his neck. ‘There is a civil war going on against the articulate society.’ Read more about Victor Erofeyev.

Aminetou Haidar

‘I want to contribute to a better society for both Sahrawi’s and Moroccans’, says Aminatou Haidar. She is featured in the documentary Sons of the Clouds, in which Spanish actor Javier Bardem narrates the story of the nearly forty-year old conflict on the Western Sahara. Read more about Aminetou Haidar.

Sergio Haro

Reporter Sergio Haro, from the documentary  Reportero, works amid one of the most violent conflicts in the world: the Mexican drug war. Journalism in these circumstances implies some form of activism for Haro. ‘You cannot do nothing.’ Read more about Sergio Haro.

Frank Mugisha

Frank Mugisha (30) spearheads the fight for sexual minority rights in conservative Uganda. The killing, two years ago, of his long-time friend and colleague-activist David Kato, portrayed in the film  Call Me Kuchu, has only strengthened his motivation. Read more about Frank Mugisha.

Yoani Sánchez

It is a small miracle that Yoani Sánchez, portrayed in  Forbidden Voices, will actually be attending the Movies that Matter Festival. Or maybe even a big miracle. For years she attempted to obtain an exit visa,  which was refused to Cubans who openly criticise the Communist regime. Read more about
Yoani Sánchez.

Zhou Shuguang (Zola)

Activist blogger Zhou Shuguang uses a light tone to draw attention to heavy issues plaguing Chinese society. Everything changed in 2008 for the activist blogger, better known under his screen name Zola, portrayed in the documentary High Tech, Low Life. Read more about Zola.

Tep Vanny

‘Ladies of the Lake’, some media call them. It is a fairy-like name that conceals the hardship of women who are fighting for their homes along the Boeung Kak Lake. One of the ‘leading ladies’ is Tep Vanny, portrayed in  Even a Bird Needs a Nest, says: ‘If we don’t struggle today, we will die tomorrow.’ Read more about Tep Vanny.


Salma – a pseudonym – is an ordinary woman with an extraordinary life story. When she was only thirteen years old, Salma was locked up in her parents’ house in Thuvarankurichi, a small village in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. According to local Muslim tradition, girls are forbidden to leave the house from the moment they hit puberty until the day they marry. Read more about Salma.