International Advocacy

September 7, 2012

On September 7, 2012 DOC urged the Canadian government to call for the release of missing Syrian filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia, founder of the Arab documentary film festival Dox Box.


September 6th, 2012
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Langevin Block
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A2

Prime Minister,

The Documentary Organization of Canada/l’Association des
documentaristes du Canada (DOC) is extremely concerned at the disappearance of Syrian filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia two weeks ago.

Nyrabia was detained at the Damascus airport on August 23rd and he has not been seen since. His family has received no information whatsoever about the reasons for his detention and are calling for his immediate release by the Syrian Authorities.

Nyrabia started Dox Box in 2008, a leading Arab documentary film festival. This year’s Dox Box was held in twelve countries around the world to raise awareness about the silencing of independent voices in Syria.

Nyrabia has now joined the silenced. It is imperative that we speak out against this blatant infringement on human rights.

DOC asks that the Canadian government demand Orwa Nyrabia’s immediate release. We call on our Government to defend the values of free speech that we, as Canadians, hold to the highest standard and speak up against this abuse.

Respectfully submitted,

Pepita Ferrari

cc Amnesty International Canada


July 8th, 2010

Toronto – The Real G8/G20: A Civil Society Response is a content-rich forum for citizen media: video, film, photography, and editorial works by artists, activists, social justice organizations and independent media.

July 5, 2010

At moments of social conflict, it is important that journalists and independent media have the freedom to do their jobs – to witness and document events of public interest. 

During the G20 protests in Toronto, that freedom was repeatedly violated. Journalists and documentary filmmakers were victims of seemingly unprovoked attacks by police and the following are a few examples:

– DOC member Amy Miller was detained for more than 12 hours despite showing accreditation documents to police.

– PEI filmmaker Adam MacIsaac was detained and his equipment broken/confiscated. 

– TVO journalist Steve Paikin witnessed police assaulting freelance journalist Jesse Rosenfeld, who was working for The Guardian newspaper.

Of course there are many sides to every story, and not all the details of these confrontations have been independently confirmed. But the number and pattern of these accounts make it clear that an independent inquiry into the treatment of media by police during the G20 summit is necessary.

December 4, 2009

DOC sends a letter to Minister Van Loan in regards to treatment of Amy Goodman when crossing the border into Canada.

August 17, 2009

DOC sends its petition to the Iranian Government and issues a press release.

DOC urges its members to sign the following petition asking for the 
release of filmmaker Maziar Bahari

The Documentary Organization of Canada / l’association des Documentaristes du Canada (DOC) is a national arts service organization representing over 800 members across the country working in the documentary sector. We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned that Canadian/Iranian journalist and filmmaker Maziar Bahari has been detained by the Iranian government since June 21. Mr. Bahari was arrested while fulfilling his lawful responsibilities as a journalist for Newsweek Magazine reporting on events following the Iranian elections. Since his arrest no charges have been brought against him nor has he had access to a lawyer.

We find this situation extremely disturbing.  Maziar Bahari is known as a man of great integrity and through the years his documentaries have become well-known to the international community.  He is especially respected for his ability to convey a balanced and intelligent portrayal of Middle Eastern life in his work. These wonderful films offer an interpretation that is both insightful and compassionate of a culture often misunderstood by the West.

We are asking for his immediate release from custody.  Iran was one of the first countries to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1975 and as a signator country,  Mr. Bahari is entitled to his freedom under this law.  He should be allowed to continue his work as a filmmaker and as a journalist.  His talent and ability as a cultural translator are too valuable to be lost either to your country or to ours.

Respectfully submitted,

If you are having trouble viewing the petition, please visit this website: