International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations

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Unhealed Wounds - The Faces Behind the Injuries of Crowd-Control Weapons is a multimedia project combining photography, video and audio recordings to bring to light faces and stories of people injured by crowd-control weapons during protests. At the time of the events most of the eleven men and women highlighted in this project were either protesters - publicly expressing their grievances and demands in different parts of the world - or accidental passersby.

Police institutions all around the world often use these dangerous weapons to stifle dissent. In the context of protests this practice escalates tensions, creates panic and causes long-lasting psychological traumas, serious injuries, disabilities and even deaths. Ultimately, the misuse of crowd-control weapons interferes with people’s right to freedom of expression and assembly and severely undermines respect for human rights.

The artistic approach to Unhealed Wounds was inspired by the work of the Israeli photographer Tali Mayer, who also coordinated this project. In collaboration with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Mayer worked on a series of photo portraits featuring East Jerusalem residents, all bystanders, severely injured by black sponge bullets during protests.

The International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO) and its member organizations contributed closely in devising the concept and producing all the materials.

The photos and videos were commissioned from local photographers and artists from Argentina, Colombia, Egypt, Hungary, India, Israel, Kenya, Russia, South Africa and the United States. With the exception of the Russian and Egyptian cases, all videos were taken at the location where the incidents happened.

We would like to thank the people portrayed in this project for sharing their personal experiences of the actual events and the traumatic circumstances of their injuries. Their first-hand accounts are powerful testimonies of the harmful effects of crowd-control weapons.

Unhealed Wounds builds on the ground-breaking research conducted by INCLO in close collaboration with Physicians for Human Rights and published in a joint report titled Lethal in Disguise.

INCLO advocates for the protection and promotion of the rights to protest and calls for stricter regulation of the use of crowd-control weapons at the national and international level.