Embassy of the Czech Republic - Documentary Screening
June 23
6:30 pm
Embassy of the Czech Republic
3900 Spring of Freedom Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008

Documentary Screening: Into the Current  and Panel Discussion on Burma

The Embassy of the Czech Republic invites you to the screening of the documentary film Into the Current: Burma's Political Prisoners on June 23, at 6:30 pm, followed by a panel discussion and a reception.
The event is part of the project Democracy and Human Rights: Lessons from the Past for the Current Czech Foreign Policy, organized by the Embassy of the Czech Republic from January through June 2011.

H.E. Petr Gandalovic, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United States, will open the event, focused on discussing various aspects of the current situation in Burma and the future orientation of the country after the sham election held in November 2011. Director/producer Jeanne Hallacy (TBC) will introduce the film, which tells the story of Burma's unsung heroes―its prisoners of conscience—and the price they pay for speaking the truth to power in a military dictatorship. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion, moderated by David Kramer (Executive Director, Freedom House), which will include the following distinguished speakers: Tom Malinowski (Washington Director of Human Rights Watch), Aung Din (Executive Director, U.S. Campaign for Burma), Benedict Rogers (Christian Solidarity Worldwide), and Jeanne Hallacy (producer/director, TBC). The film Into the Current was part of the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, held in Prague from March 8-17, 2011.
Location: Embassy of the Czech Republic, 3900 Spring of Freedom Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008 

R.S.V.P. to  czech_events@yahoo.com, by June 22, 2011
Please put "Burma Event" in the subject line.

Czech Republic and Human Rights 
Based on her own historic experience, the Czech Republic holds human rights and democracy very dear. Calling upon the international community to follow suit, the Czech Republic is a staunch advocate of respect for human rights and democracy in various places in the world where these are under threat. The numerous activities in this field, where the Czech Republic is involved, are portrayed in the Embassy´s project "Democracy and Human Rights: Lessons from the Past for the Current Czech Foreign Policy." The various events put together within this project include exhibitions, conferences, documentary and feature film screenings, and lectures focusing namely on the country's totalitarian past, its current human-rights-promotion priorities and, topically, on the rights of women and children.

About the documentary
Bo Kyi was once a political prisoner himself in Burma. Now living in exile just across the border in Thailand, his life remains bound to his more than 2,000 prisoner colleagues who are still behind bars. Some are his close friends, including the poet and inspirational leader Min Ko Naing, comedian Zarganar, and musician Win Maw. As his friends have fallen silent in remote jails, Bo Kyi has taken on the dangerous work of operating a secretive yet enormously effective underground network of practical supports for them and their families and taking their stories to the international arena. A reluctant leader, Bo Kyi is a hard man to know. The winner of many human rights awards, he dislikes the limelight. A friendship spanning a decade allows filmmaker Jeanne Hallacy to follow the man, his motivations, and his cause. The film highlights the plight of Burma's political prisoners and their efforts to free the country from dictatorship, through rare archival footage filmed by the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) and historical scenes of Aung San Suu Kyi as the visionary leader of the country's non-violent movement. It depicts exiles who are continuing the political struggle; songwriter Khun Saing's bittersweet refugee life, Zarganar's vaudeville troupe, and other former prisoners whose humor, courage and refusal to be silenced remain little known. While they and countless others fight on, the dream of a free Burma remains alive. Into The Current will be nationally broadcast inside Burma on DVB's underground satellite broadcasts to an estimated 5 million viewers (Source: www.intothecurrent.org).

Jeanne Marie Hallacy
Filmmaker and human rights advocate Jeanne Hallacy has been based in Southeast Asia for 25 years. Her first film, Gabihin, documents children affected by conflict in the Philippines. Mercy (meddah) followed a girl living in a slum community lost her family to AIDS. Burma Diary documented youth involved with Burma's revolutionary movement (www.der.org). Jeanne directed the award-winning photography project InSIGHT Out! in Thailand and Indonesia serving youth in post-conflict communities (www.insightoutproject.org). Jeanne has worked as a producer for international news broadcasters covering regional human rights and social issues and served as the Director of Programs at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand for a decade. Her commitment to Burma's non-violent movement deepened after filming videos with Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.  Her other credits include No Women, No Peace produced for the Madeleine K. Albright Awards www.ndi.org/node/15143 and Burma Report about the attempted assassination of Suu Kyi.

David Kramer
David Kramer became the Executive Director of Freedom House in October 2010. Prior to joining Freedom House, Kramer was a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Elliott School for International Affairs at The George Washington University. Kramer served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor from 2008 to 2009. He also was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus affairs as well as regional non-proliferation issues. Previously, he served in the Secretary of State's Office of Policy Planning, Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, and Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy in Washington. Before entering government service, Kramer was a Senior Fellow at the Project for the New American Century, Associate Director of the Russian and Eurasian Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Assistant Director of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Kramer has also been a Lecturer in Russian Studies at Clark University, a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University and an analyst for the Christian Science Monitor Network during the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Tom Malinowski
Tom Malinowski, Washington Director for Human Rights Watch and an expert in U.S. foreign policy, is responsible for the organization's overall advocacy efforts with the U.S. Government. He frequently appears as a radio, television, and op-ed commentator on U.S. human rights policy. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Malinowski was special assistant to President Bill Clinton and senior director for foreign policy speechwriting at the National Security Council. Before working in the White House, he was a speech writer for Secretaries of State Christopher and Albright and a member of the State Department's policy planning staff. Malinowski holds degrees in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and Oxford University.

Aung Din
Aung Din served over four years behind bars as a political prisoner in Burma after organizing and helping to lead the country's nationwide pro-democracy uprising in 1988 as Vice Chairperson of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), the largest national student organization and outlawed by the regime. He also served as Vice Chairman of the Burma's Youth Liberation Front (BYLF), and Cabinet Secretary of the Parallel Government, founded by former Prime Minister U Nu during the peak the 1988 pro-democracy uprising in September. Amnesty International adopted him as a Prisoner of Conscience in 1989, and its chapters worldwide campaigned for his release. He co-founded the Washington, DC-based U.S. Campaign for Burma, an umbrella group of Burmese dissidents in exile and American activists, in 2003. He is also country representative of the Thai-Burma border-based "Assistance Association for Political Prisoners-Burma" (AAPP).

Benedict Rogers

Benedict Rogers is East Asia Team Leader at the international human rights organization Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), based in London. He specializes in Burma, North Korea and Indonesia. He is the author of several books, including Than Shwe: Unmasking Burma's Tyrant (Silkworm Books, 2010) and A Land Without Evil: Stopping the Genocide of Burma's Karen People (Monarch Books, 2004). His new book, Burma: A Captive Nation, will be published by Silkworm Books in 2012. Ben has traveled many times inside Burma, and to Burma's borders with Thailand, China, Bangladesh and India. He currently serves as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission in the UK and has been a parliamentary candidate.
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