Content Archive

ICCL welcomes commencement of Gender Recognition Act 2015

  • News Item
  • September 4, 2015
ICCL Press release 4 September 2015 Ireland’s independent rights watchdog, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), has welcomed the signature today (Friday 4 September 2015) by Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, of the...

Fennelly report indicates need for “root and branch” reform of Garda policy says ICCL

  • News Item
  • September 1, 2015
Irish Council for Civil Liberties Press release Tuesday 1 September 2015 Ireland’s human rights watchdog, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has said that the Interim Report of the Commission of Investigation chaired by Mr Justice Nial F...

Marriage Equality Act a "vindication of the will of voters" says ICCL

  • News Item
  • August 29, 2015
Ireland's human rights watchdog, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has warmly welcomed the signature this evening (29 August 2015) of the Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution (Marriage Equality) Act 2015 by the President of Ireland....

Rights watchdog welcomes latest outworking of marriage equality vote

  • News Item
  • July 16, 2015
ICCL Statement Thursday 16 July 2015 Ireland’s human rights watchdog, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), has welcomed the passage yesterday of transgender equality legislation as the “latest outworking” of the recent marriage equalit...

ICCL-Backed Study Finds Hate Crime Must 'Come out of Shadows'

  • News Item
  • July 13, 2015
At our launch of #hatecrime research today @Blackhall99 @jschweppe @AHaynesTweets @AodhanORiordain @HHRGatUL — ICCL (@ICCLtweet) July 13, 2015 Press release, for release Monday 13 June 2015 11amHate crime in Ireland i...

Dublin Pride: ICCL Director Mark Kelly's Speech as Yes Equality Grand Marshal with Brian Sheehan and Grainne Healy

  • Article
  • June 27, 2015


Hello Dublin Pride!

You look good from up here. 

Really good.

It’s a huge honour to be here alongside my friends and colleagues Grainne Healy of Marriage Equality and Brian Sheehan of GLEN on this momentous day – this Pride of Prides.

I’m here today because of the work that the Irish Council for Civil Liberties has done with GLEN and Marriage Equality to build and run the Yes Equality 2015 campaign.

And I’m here today because the ICCL has, for nearly 40 years, campaigned for full equality for same sex couples.

All the way to voting day, just a month ago.

To be able to stand alongside Senator David Norris at the Dublin Count Centre as the YES votes poured from the ballot boxes and to be able to stand alongside Senator Katherine Zappone and her wife Anne-Louise at Dublin Castle as the result was declared were two of the most uplifting experiences of my life.

Matched only by today.

For today we have the chance to celebrate all of the people who truly made this happen – the massed ranks of Yes Equality supporters who, hail, rain and shine knocked on doors, knocked down prejudices and got out the vote. Brian, Grainne and I are so proud to have marched before your unfurled banners today.

Let’s remember too the brilliance of the BelongTo campaigners who made sure that voting was a family affair. And the determination of Amnesty Ireland supporters who signed up to the slogan “let’s make history” and then went out and made that slogan live. And the many, many more unsung heroes of the campaign who are with us today.

Thank you all.

I want also to specially thank five Irish Council for Civil Liberties staff who joined the Yes Equality core team – Walter, Suzanne, Karen, Joanne and Stephen. Thank you for everything that you did, and for your good grace and good humour through thick and thin.

This is also the year to celebrate legislative equality for trans people. And to recognize the groundbreaking work of TENI in securing in Ireland one of the most progressive transgender recognition schemes anywhere in the world. Take a bow, Broden Giambrone.

Now, before I finish, I just want to ask … are there any Americans in the audience today?

What an amazing thing your Supreme Court did yesterday. Jim Obergefell and his fellow litigants asked for one thing only – equality before the law and now your Constitution – just like ours – grants them that right. So now you have marriage equality from sea to shining sea.

Congratulations, welcome to Dublin Pride and to the growing family of civilized nations that respect the equality of LGBTQ people.

Change in America and change in Ireland did not come easily or quickly. In both nations, it has been the result of years and years of hard graft by thousands of brave and dedicated activists upon whose shoulders we stand today.

President Obama said yesterday:

“Sometimes there are days like this when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt”.

Today, in Dublin, we know exactly how that feels.

There will be lots more slow and steady effort ahead to secure equality for other groups in Ireland whose rights are not yet respected. There will be more struggles and more campaigns before the next equality thunderbolts strike.

All of that is for tomorrow.

Today in Dublin, let’s just savour together the uplift that true equality brings.

Dublin Pride, Pride of Prides, let’s party …

Thank you.

SCOTUS marriage equality judgment builds ‘global momentum’ towards equality says ICCL

  • News Item
  • June 26, 2015
ICCL Press Release For immediate release Friday 26 June 2015 Ireland’s independent human rights watchdog the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), has today (Friday 26 June 2015)  welcomed the clear ruling by the Supreme Court of the United St...

ICCL calls on Government to 'keep its word' on economic, social and cultural rights following international criticism

  • News Item
  • June 22, 2015
ICCL Press Statement 22 June 2015 The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) today welcomes the publication of the Concluding Observations on the Third Periodic Report of Ireland by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Righ...

'Hear me now' say filmmakers scooping top human rights prize

  • Article
  • June 18, 2015

Hamy Ramezan Photo.jpg Rungano Nyoni Photo.JPG

Acclaimed filmmakers Hamy Ramezan and Rungano Nyoni were awarded the Grand Prize this evening (Thursday 18 June 2015) at the seventh annual Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) Human Rights Film Awards, which was held in Dublin's Light House Cinema. The film was produced by Valeria Richter, who made headlines in Cannes last month when she was excluded from the red carpet for not wearing high heels.

Ramezan and Nyoni were honoured with the award for their Danish short film Listen- a tense fictional examination of cultural barriers and bureaucratic miscommunication set in a Copenhagen police station. The film follows a woman in a burqa who brings her young son to file a complaint against her abusive husband. But the translator assigned to her is unwilling to convey the true meaning of her words. The drama that plays out is a chilling reminder of the isolation that many victims can face when dealing with the authorities in a language not their own.

Ramezan and Nyoni are no strangers to acclaim for their filmmaking. Finnish/Iranian Hamy Ramezan's previous film, ˜Over the Fenceâ was a worldwide festival hit and was screened at more than 40 international film festivals, earning many awards. Nyoni - who was born in Zambia and grew up in Wales - has been nominated for an African Academy Award, a BAFTA and she was selected for the Cannes Cinefondation Residency 2013 for her upcoming feature film- I am not a Witch.

Commenting on the making of the film, Ramezan and Nyoni said: 

'We directed a cast and crew whose first languages were Danish and Arabic, which neither of us speak, so we had our own experience of miscommunication, at least at the beginning. After a dodgy first day, we learnt how to communicate, sometimes without even speaking the same language. Lots of big gestures and focus helped us to understand each other's needs - it was fascinating.'

Listen has already received plaudits at Cannes Directors' Fortnight, Toronto, and at Tribeca where this April it won for Best Narrative Short.

Attending the event on behalf of Ramezan and Nyoni were the film’s producers Valeria Richter & Helene Granqvist.

The ICCL Human Rights Film Awards Gala, which was held in a full house in Screen 1 of the Light House Cinema tonight, saw second place prize go to Spanish film ‘Barcelone ba Barsakh’, a dramatization of the struggles facing migrants crossing the Mediterranean, by Nacho Gil and Cristina Vergara. Third place prize went to ‘Let the Devil Sleep’, by Alan Whelan, Eoghan Rice and Elena Hermosa - a documentary following survivors of the Rwandan Genocide and their journey of reconciliation. Shortlisted filmmaker Simon Hipkins also accepted a Special Jury Award for his film Moving Lives: Misan a portrait of the life of a migrant Dublin Bus driver.

Commenting on the winning film today ICCL Director Mark Kelly said:

'Todays winning short film dramatizes the importance of the human right to be heard by officialdom more tellingly than any written report possibly could. It is a remarkably effective piece of human rights filmmaking, as well as cinema of the highest calibre. Congratulations to Hamy Ramezan and Rungano Nyoni on their remarkable achievement, which will assist the ICCL and others in their advocacy around this important right”.

Photos from the Red Carpet will be filed to news and photo desks from 8pm on Thursday 18 June by Paul Sharp of Sharp Pix. Paul can be reached at and at 0866689087

For further information, please contact:

Walter Jayawardene, Communications Manager, Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)

Mob: +353 87 998157


• The ICCL Human Rights Film Awards is a project of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL). It is Ireland’s first and only short film awards dedicated to human rights.
This year is the seventh annual instalment of the competition. 

Spanning a range of styles, and a mix of documentary and drama, this year’s six shortlisted films deal with a range of pressing human rights issues here in Ireland and internationally, including transgender recognition, victims of crime, racism, the plight of Mediterranean migrants and threats facing frontline human rights defenders. The shortlist can be viewed online at

•The shortlist was showcased at a�Gala screening at the Light House Cinema on the evening of 18 June 2015 from 7pm, where the Jury announced the winning film,�Listen.�A photocall took place on the Light House Cinema Plaza and red carpet from 7.30pm.�Awards Jury members attending included: Senator David Norris and documentary makers Pamela Yates and Paco de Onís. Attending the event on behalf of the winning Filmmakers was Danish film producer Valeria Richter, who made global headlines in Cannes last month after being excluded from the red carpet for not wearing high heels. (see ).

  •  Photos from the Red Carpet will be filed to news and photo desks from 8pm on Thursday 18 June by Paul Sharp of Sharp Pix. Paul can be reached at and at 0866689087

• The awards jury included prominent Irish Actors (Brian Gleeson, Victoria Smurfit, Brenda Fricker, Stephen Rea and Jack Reynor) awards winning Irish documentary and film makers (Tom Moore, Kirsten Sheridan, Pamela Yates, Paco De Onis, Nicky Phelan, Rebecca Miller, Grainne Humphreys, Ken Wardrop, John Kelleher) and Senator David Norris.

• The shortlist was chosen by a panel of experts in human rights and the Arts, including Pia Janning of the ICCL; Lynn Larkin, Project and Marketing Manager of Filmbase; John Maguire, Film Critic with the Sunday Business Post; Suzanne Egan of the UCD School of Law and last year’s Human Rights Film Awards winner Niamh Heery of Swansong Films.

• Hamy Ramezan, (photo HERE) Born in 1979, is a Finnish/Iranian Film Director and scriptwriter. He has studied film in England, graduating in 2007. His short film Over the Fence (Vikko ennen vappua, 2009) was a worldwide festival hit having screened at more than 40 international festivals and garnered eight prizes, including Best Live Action Short at Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival, Best Fiction at Curtocircuito Santiago de Compostela and special Mention at Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival. Keys of Heaven (paratiisin avaimet, 2014) is the top short film project in Finland this year.

• Rungano Nyoni (photo HERE) is a Writer/Director born in Lusaka, Zambia and grew up in Wales, UK. She graduated from the University of the Arts with a Masters in Arts in 2009. In the same year her first short film The List won a BAFTA Cymru. Her subsequent film, Mwana the Great, was supported by Focus Features Africa First Programme and UK Film Council. Mwansa the Great was selected at over 100 International Film Festivals and has won over 20 prizes and was nominated for a Bafta in 2012. Rungano is currently writing her debut feature, I AM NOT A WITCH. The project was selected to participate in the Cinefondation Residency in 2013.








ICCL Human Rights Film Awards Shortlist Announced

  • Article
  • June 16, 2015

We are delighted to announce the shortlist of six outstanding entries to the 2015 ICCL Human Rights Film Awards, which will be screened at our national Gala Screening in Dublin's Light House Cinema on Thursday 18 June, where the Grand Prize winner will be announced.

View the shortlist on the ICCL Human Rights Film Awards website HERE, or below.

Our sincere thanks to all of the talented filmmakers who entered.

There are limited places left for the Gala Screening on 18 June - email for more information!

The 2015 Shortlist

Moving Lives: Misan

Director: Simon Hipkins
Producers: Simon Hipkins, Aine O'Brien, Val Bogan

Moving Loves: Misan, directed by London based film director and writer Simon Hipkins, tells the story of an Irish citizen, father and bus driver working in Dublin. Misan fled his country of birth at a young age due to armed conflict, but that is all we are told about his past. Looking to the future, Misan now sees Ireland as his home. This documentary explores some of the challenges he faces, particularly the racial abuse he regularly experiences while on his Dublin Bus route. People say 'go back to your own Country' says Misan, adding wryly 'that's a bit funny because Ireland is my country. Misan is part of the Immigrant Council of Ireland's Moving Lives series that uses interactive film portraits to draw attention to issues of racism, integration, human trafficking and family reunification.

Moving Lives: Misan from Key Pictures on Vimeo.

Let the Devil Sleep
Directors: Alan Whelan, Eoghan Rice and Elena Hermosa

Just over twenty years ago, Rwanda witnessed a genocidal killing spree that left nearly one million people dead, and many more with long-lasting trauma and injury. Such was the brutality of the Genocide that long after the killing had ended, the question remained: how could the people of Rwanda ever be reconciled?

Filmed in Gikongoro and Kigali between January and February 2014, Let the Devil Sleep follows two Tutsi women, Marie Mukagasana and Frida Kamuizma, who in 1994 were persecuted, subjected to horrific violence and who lost family members at the hands of Hutu militias. It also follows Jean Baptiste Gatera and Juvenal Moudenge - neighbours of these women - who took an active part in the genocidal violence that swept the country. Through a series of calm and reflective testimonies delivered individually and together, this documentary tells the story of these four individuals' unlikely journey of confession, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Note: the below video is an extended cut of the film entered to the competition, which was 12 minutes in duration.

Let the Devil Sleep: Rwanda 20 Years After Genocide from Trocaire on Vimeo.

Director: Bob Gallagher
Producers: Zlata Filipovic, Anna Rodgers

While following of the Marriage Equality referendum, Ireland is set to be one of the most progressive countries in the world for the recognition of gender identity, Transgender citizens across Europe continue to face significant challenges to vindicate their rights. Commissioned by Transgender Europe, Nightmare puts these challenges into fast-paced and dramatic perspective, illustrating the many bureaucratic and medical barriers placed before Transgender citizens in order for their gender identity to be recognised. These include obligatory sterilisation, enforced divorce and the requirement of a diagnosis of mental illness. What may seem like a nightmare to most European citizens is a reality for many others.

34 Countries in Europe Make This Nightmare a Reality (video made for Transgender Europe, 2015) from Invisible Thread on Vimeo.

Where is Don?
Director: More Raca
Producer: Sunaj Raca

Panic and apprehension are the emotions that dominate the 10 minute duration of the short film Where is Don? However for many journalists and human rights defenders, such feelings do not just last the length of a short film, but are constant. Around the world, journalists and activists face persecution and severe danger for exercising the right to free expression. Such dangers are often compounded due to the inaction or complicity of the authorities. Filmmaker and women's rights activist More Raca explores this phenomenon in her native Kosovo, telling the tense tale of a journalist living in constant fear of threats, harassment and intimidation due to her writing.

Where is Don? from ICCL Human Rights Film Awards on Vimeo.

Barcelone ba Barsakh
Directors: Nacho Gil cid De Diego & Cristina Vergara Sequeiro
Producer: David Moliner

Barcelone ba Barsakh is a fictional short film that tells the story of Demba, a Senegalese immigrant in Spain. Arriving on a human trafficking ship, Demba has faced great hardship to reach Barcelona. The film's title incorporates the Senegalese language of Wolof and refers to the two options that migrants believe they face (a European City or Barsakh- the beyond). While this film's story is fictional, the issue is all too real. An estimated 1,800 migrants lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea in the first five months of 2015 alone. The film also examines the treatment of immigrants once they arrive in Europe, where they face nostalgia for their families and home culture, discrimination and the constant fear of deportation. Barcelone ba Barsakh puts a face on the many immigrants who are forced to take their chances on Barsakh and 'the beyond' by crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

Note: due to copyright restrictions currently we can only publish a trailer of this film online. Private access to the film can be provided to members of print and broadcast media - contact ICCL Communications Manager Walter Jayawardene at


Directors: Hamy Ramezan and Rungano Nyoni
Producers: Valeria Richter and Helene Granqvist

What if you were a victim and wanted to speak out? But every time you spoke, what you say is watered down, distorted or contradicted? This is a very real problem facing thousands of vulnerable people across Europe today, who due to language barriers and insufficient interpretation and translation facilities are unable to interact properly with the authorities. Hamy Ramezan and Rungano Nyoni skilfully dramatise this problem in Listen, a tale of a woman in a Copenhagen police station seeking assistance to report and escape her abusive husband. But her interpreter seems unwilling to convey the true meaning of her words. The film, which premiered last year at Cannes, and which has also screened at Tribeca and the Toronto Film Festival, has been described as 'a tense, diamond-hard film about cultural isolation and bureaucratic ignorance.'

Note: due to copyright restrictions currently we can only publish a trailer of this film online. Private access to the film can be provided to members of print and broadcast media - contact ICCL Communications Manager Walter Jayawardene at

LISTEN - TRAILER from ICCL Human Rights Film Awards on Vimeo.

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