A number of women from Iraq’s Yazidi religious minority, the focus of a critically acclaimed Swedish documentary, Sabaya, Recount The New York Times that they did not give their informed consent to appear in the film. Three Yazidi women featured in the documentary, which chronicles ISIS’s heartbreaking sexual slavery of girls, said they did not understand how the footage was going to be used. Three other women, including two medical lawyers, had explicitly informed Hirori that they did not want to appear in the film; their images were used anyway.
Hirori told the Times that he captured women’s recorded verbal consent in 2019 and written release forms “in the mail” after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The women said they received consent forms in English, a language they do not understand, long after the film was shown to the public in January at Sundance, where it won a major award. Human Rights Watch, aware of consent issues, declined to filter Sabaya at his own film festival this year. “The film raises a number of red flags for us regarding concerns that it could victimize victims, ”said an associate director of the organization. “How can women who are held in a safe house with no easy exit give their consent? “
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