Northern Ireland news

Documentary tracing roots of western governments' use of torture to feature in film festival in Belfast

Festival director Seán Murray

A DOCUMENTARY tracing the roots of western governments' use of torture is to feature in a film festival in Belfast this weekend.

Eminent Monsters will be screened at An Cultúrlann on Sunday as part of the Respect Human Rights Film Festival.

Directed by Stephen Bennett, it includes extraordinary first-hand testimony from those who have experienced the physical and mental effects of torture, including the 'Hooded Men'.

The screening comes just weeks after the Court of Appeal in Belfast ruled that an investigation should proceed into the treatment of 14 internees in 1971 known as the 'Hooded Men'.

The 14 men were arrested by the British army in 1971, hooded and subjected to a number of torture methods.

The Court of Appeal said the abuse would be characterised as torture, if it was used today.

Following the screening, a Q&A session, which will be chaired by festival director Seán Murray, will include two of the Hooded Men, Liam Shannon and Francis McGuigan.

Mr Murray said: "I am thrilled that Eminent Monsters will screen as part of Respect Human Rights Film Festival this weekend.

"This is a truly enthralling and revealing documentary which gets to the heart of human rights abuses which some in our society have faced.

"The success of the festival thus far demonstrates the increasing demand for festivals like this that empower, educate and advocate for those without a voice.

"I am particularly thankful that two of the Hooded Men, Liam Shannon and Francis McGuigan will share their powerful testimony at the festival."

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