Uzbekistan and its human rights situation depicted in Hollywood
Today, Sunday, May 6, 2012, in the well-known Broad Stage Theatre in Santa Monica, California, a group of well-known Hollywood actors and actresses will perform a short play about Uzbekistan and its atrocious human rights situation, entitled “Cries from the Heart: Freedom Needs a Voice” “Kriki Serdtsa: Svobode Nuzhen Golos”.
Authored by the well-known playwright Jonathan Feldman, the play will feature several actors and actresses with long careers in Hollywood, including Lisa Edelstein, Jacqueline Emerson, Greg Germann, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Sally Kirkland, Dayo Okeniyi, Missi Pyle, Peter Riegert, Julian Sands, Arnold Vosloo, and Reno Wilson.
The play will tell the stories of various victims of human rights abuses in Uzbekistan, including ordinary men, women, and children who have experienced torture as well as the stories of activists, such as Elena Urlaeva, who face daily harassment and arbitrary detention for their legitimate human rights work. The Hollywood stars will read actual testimonies of victims of human rights abuses, Uzbek human rights defenders, and even the words of President Karimov himself on stage. The play will also tell the story of how Human Rights Watch, the very last independent international human rights organization working in Uzbekistan, was expelled last year from the country. The closure of Human Rights Watch in Uzbekistan was the first time in its 33-year history that a government has forced the closure of one of its permanent field offices anywhere in the world.
This is the first time Uzbekistan and its human rights situation has been depicted on the dramatic stage in Hollywood. Various members of the Hollywood film community will be in attendance, including the former studio head of Universal Pictures. A DVD will be available of the performance a weeks after the show.