The Fifth International Documentary Film Festival on Human Rights "Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan" opened in Bishkek (28/09/2011)

The official opening of the Fifth International Documentary Film Festival on Human Rights "Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan" took place in Bishkek on September 27. The festival aims to strengthen the capacity of civil society in the promotion of human rights. For five years it has been contributing to the development of civil society; helping non-governmental organisations to achieve consensus on issues of public policy, by showing documentary films and providing a platform for discussion of common human rights problems.

The opening ceremony was attended by the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Roza Otunbayeva and other officials.

On behalf of the European Union, the Head of the EU Delegation Ambassador Chantal Hebberecht welcomed the participants of festival with the following statement:


"Your Excellency M-me President , Distinguished Director of the Festival, Ladies and gentlemen, Distinguished guests,

It is with great pleasure that I greet you this evening at the opening of the fifth International Festival of Documentary films on human rights "Bir Duino - Kyrgyzstan".

Respect for human rights is one of the foundations of democracy, and democracy is necessary to develop and protect human rights and it is a permanent challenge in every country.

For the European Union it is a key objective of the EU Foreign and Security Policy and an essential element of our development cooperation policy, and more so here in Kyrgyzstan, where the EU is supporting the democratic process led by the Government with an active role of civil society.

Kyrgyzstan has achieved so much in the democratic transition period, and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate President Otunbayeva, on her determination in leading efforts towards stabilising the country and engaging it in a process of democratic reform in an extremely difficult context.

Here in Kyrgyzstan, the EU is implementing a specific programme through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).

The objective of this programme is to assist civil society in developing greater cohesion in working on human rights in the all spheres of society : political, civil, economic, social and cultural.

And I would like to congratulate  the civil society for their strong commitment and the very active role they are playing to increase the protection of human rights in this country

For many years, through this programme, we have supported many ongoing NGO projects, and one of these projects is the "Bir Duino" festival.

This important festival aims to improve human rights awareness among the population and to strengthen the ability of Kyrgyz civil society to promote human rights.

Each year the audience at the festival is increasing, which proves the subject of human rights is extremely important for people.

And of course, the way in which this subject is presented in attractive movies, which reflect straight to our emotions, touches the life values of each of us including a respect for human dignity and human rights.

The Bir Duino conference organisers have selected for us an exciting mix of documentary films on the thematic of human rights.

In addition to Kyrgyzstan, these films come from Canada, Germany, Israel, Iran, Congo, South Africa, India, Great Britain, Ethiopia and the Czech Republic. Protection of human rights is, really, a universal challenge…

We are very happy that this important festival has been put on wheels. It will not stay only in Bishkek, but will roam around the country and go to places such as Naryn, Karakol, Talas, Osh and Batken.

I am confident that you will enjoy this selection. But more, I would wish that the films provoke discussions among you on the films and the human rights issues which are raised by them. Let this discussion contribute in a positive and constructive manner to the human rights issues in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Allow me at this point to express my heartiest thanks to those who made this event possible; film makers and organisers. Without them we wouldn't have the festival tonight.

I wish you inspiring and relaxing evenings in the cinema with the Bir Duino Human Rights Film Festival."