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Thursday, February 28, 2008

YouTube Reinstates Video Appearing to Document Prisoner Abuse

Google-owned YouTube reinstated a video appearing to document prisoner abuse at a Russian prison camp. The Wall Street Journal writes:

Lawyer Robert Amsterdam posted the video to YouTube in December with the explanation that the 2006 footage comes from a prison camp in Yekaterinaburg and was discovered by Lev Ponomarev, co-founder of the Moscow-based Foundation for Defense of Rights of Prisoners.

The six-minute clip includes scenes of a troop of men in camouflage uniforms and helmets marching into a building and then beating unarmed individuals with clubs. (...)

YouTube removed the video last week after a user flagged it on the site as not being appropriate for all viewers.

YouTube then removed the video after users flagged it as inappropriate for all users, the Wall Street Journal reports. The video is painful to watch and appears to show how authorities can become sadists in certain circumstancs. Removing evidence of this brutality however only helps those abusing their power. YouTube seems to have realized this and restored the video. “Having reviewed the case, we have restored the video,” the Wall Street Journal quotes a YouTube spokesperson, who also says, “We are committed to preserving YouTube as an important platform for expression of all kinds, while also ensuring that the site remains a safe environment for our users.”

Previously, in November 2007, Reuters reported YouTube cancelled the account of an Egypt anti-torture activist.



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