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Nepal: Red Cross releases documentary on conflict-related missing

06-08-2010 News Release 10/04

Kathmandu (ICRC / NRCS) – "My husband's whereabouts should be made public … we don't know whether he is dead or alive. This uncertainty is unbearable." These are the words of an anguished wife in Shadows of Hope, a 21-minute documentary film that was released today by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in partnership with the Nepal Red Cross Society.

The film depicts the plight of the families of people who went missing during Nepal's 10-year conflict. More than 1,350 individuals remain unaccounted for, and their families still wonder whether they are dead or alive.

 Shadows of Hope highlights the suffering of the families, whose voices often remain unheard and needs unaddressed. Shot in various locations throughout Nepal and directed by award-winning filmmaker Mohan Mainali, the film tells the stories of six families, of diverse cultures and faiths, who are caught between hope and despair and hence unable to mourn and move forward with their lives.

The documentary was produced with a humanitarian concern at heart and with the hope that it would be useful to and inspire those who can take the decisions or provide the technical know-how required to help the families of missing persons. " The issue of missing persons is a matter of national concern. Their families'immediate and long-term needs must be addressed to their satisfaction, " said Sanjeev Thapa, chairman of the Nepal Red Cross.

" Together with the Nepal Red Cross and some other organizations, including the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, we have been trying to address the needs of these families, who struggle on a daily basis with the ambiguity of their loss and a host of other problems, " said Patrick Vial, the head of the ICRC delegation in Nepal. " But more can be done, including by the Commission on Disappearances, which hopefully will be established without too much delay. "

The documentary will be shown at several site s in Kathmandu. It will also travel to major cities and to the villages of the six families presented in the film.

For further information, please contact:
  Rafiullah Qureshi, ICRC Kathmandu, tel: +977 1 4107285 or +977 98510 34638
  Monica Upadhyay, ICRC Kathmandu, tel: +977 1 4107285 or +977 9751007585
  Indra Adhikari, NRCS Kathmandu, tel: +977 1 4285089 or +977 9851086198