Oslo Dokumentarkino - en alternativ mediekanal
Oslo Dokumentarkino er støttet av Institusjonen Fritt Ord, Oslo kommune og Norsk filminstitutt

In collaboration with:

Wednesday September 5, 19:00,
Cinemateket / Filmens hus


Film and debate in English.
Introduction by the filmmakers:

Justice for Sale
Ilse and Femke van Velzen,
The Netherlands 2011, 84 min.

The Problem:

Despite the extreme seriousness and scale of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
, very few have been held responsible for their crimes. Widespread impunity caused by the poor functioning of the Congolese national justice system (characterised by corruption, poor legal training, violations of procedures, lack of political will and limited presence of tribunals in rural areas) means that  survivors of rape are seldom able to get their rapists behind bars.

These conditions have caused international NGOs to work to strengthen the justice system by setting up mobile courts. NGOs have received ample funding for this work to help fight the horrible sexual crimes that are happening.

The film Justice for Sale shows an example of how this effort can have a very bad side effect of corrupting the courts.

How effective is the financial support that the international community and the NGOs offer to the Congolese judicial system? Is justice actually being served or is this support creating a justice that is for sale?

The Film

Justice for Sale
follows Claudine, a young and courageous lawyer, in her struggle against injustice and impunity in the DRC. She investigates the case of Masamba, a soldier who was convicted of rape, and discovers that his trial was corrupt and unfair. He was sentenced without any clear evidence. In Claudine's fight to obtain justice she uncovers a system where the basic principles of law are ignored.

Masamba's trial raises serious questions about some consequences of the financial support that the international community and NGOs offer to the Congolese judicial system: NGOs organise and pay for tribunals to deal with cases of sexual violence, pay the judges and pay lawyers to represent the victim, but do not usually pay for lawyers to represent the accused. The result can be an unfair trial.

The film and debate, does not put in question the existence, prevalence and gravity of sexual violence in the DRC. On the contrary this event is meant to provide information and create debate to strengthen the efforts to fight sexual violence.

The Panel:

Ilse and Femke van Velzen
have previously made two films in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Fighting the Silence from 2007 which focuses on victims of sexual violence, and Weapon of War from 2009 which portrays military perpetrators of sexual violence. Ilse and Femke will introduce the film and take part in the panel discussion after the screening.

Torild Skogsholm is the Secretary General of CARE, an international NGO working for women's rights in developing countries.

Niels Jacob Harbitz is Senior Advisor at the International Law and Policy Institute.

Moderator: Jean Paul Marthoz, Senior adviser of the Committee to Protect Journalists (NY). He is former international press director of Human Rights Watch.

One more panel participant to be confirmed.
More information coming soon.

See trailer of Justice for Sale:

Venue: Cinemateket

(Tancred), Filmens hus, Dronningens gate 16,
near the Central Train Station


No entrance fee, but you need a ticket. Tickets can be picked up at Filmens hus any day before the event or on the night of the event. If all tickets are gone there will be some extra seats available just before event start.

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Kontakt oss/Contact us:

Ketil Magnussen
Oslo Dokumentarkino

Tel: +47 - 95 18 51 09
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Jonathan Borge Lie
Oslo Dokumentarkino

Tel: +47 - 991 69 323
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