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Brooklyn, United States
Joined October 2013

WITNESS trains and supports activists and citizens around the world to use video safely, ethically, and effectively to expose human rights abuse and fight for human rights change.

Focus: Community / Customary Land Rights, Criminal Justice, Environmental Justice, Gender-based violence, Governance, Accountability & Transparency, Right to Information


WITNESS identifies ways for citizens to capture and preserve footage to improve its chances of it being used in the courtroom. Through tools, training, and advocacy efforts, we aim to help activists capture and use video as evidentiary material.

WITNESS responds to crisis situations around the globe by providing on the ground trainings, coordinating with local citizens and organizations, and making online resources available in multiple languages. Our aim is to help human rights defenders film more safely and effectively in dangerous and unpredictable environments.

Our team works to ensure the media, policy and technology landscapes allow video to realize its full potential as a human rights tool. In a world where an unprecedented number of people are becoming citizen witnesses, we believe technology companies should recognize their needs.

The WITNESS Media Lab is dedicated to addressing the challenges of sourcing, verifying, and contextualizing eyewitness video to advance its use as a powerful tool for human rights documentation and advocacy. Visit the Lab for curated footage, analysis, cases studies, and resources.

WITNESS trains activists to archive and preserve their video so that human rights abuses cannot be denied or forgotten over time.

We develop guides and toolkits appropriate for both individuals and organizations that are new to video, as well as experienced video advocacy activists who want to improve their existing skills.

People Associated With This Organization

Alexandra Zaretsky

United States  
Joined January 2017
Interests: Community / Customary Land Rights, Criminal Justice, Environmental Justice, Gender-based violence, Peace-building & Transitional Justice, Right to Information, Traditional / Customary Justice
I currently work in development and institutional fundraising at WITNESS, the international network making it possible for anyone, anywhere to use video and technology for human rights. WITNESS also focuses on how video can be used as evidence of human rights crimes. I am interested in learning more about how we can empower some of the world's most disenfranchised and marginalized groups by putting the law in their hands and making it work for them.

Isabelle Mbaye

Joined February 2014

Jackie Zammuto

United States  
Joined October 2013
Jackie Zammuto leads WITNESS’ programmatic work in the United States, focusing on the use of video for advocacy and evidentiary purposes in the thematic areas of police accountability, lgbt rights and beyond. She also coordinates the development and distribution of WITNESS’ video advocacy training resources and online platforms.

Before coming to WITNESS she spent five years as a Producer and Project Manager for the award-winning Free State Studios. She holds a B.S. in Broadcast Production Journalism and Women’s Studies from the University of Colorado. Additionally, she has collaborated on several feature-length documentaries and independent video projects.

Kelly Matheson

Joined October 2013
Kelly Matheson is an attorney, filmmaker and human rights advocate with a specialty in environmental human rights and the use of video in criminal justice investigations and proceedings.

As an attorney, she worked in East Africa researching citizens’ rights to bring suit against their governments when governments broke their own laws.

She then practiced throughout the western United States working on issues where environmental and human rights converge. Her film career began in 2003. Her film projects focused on indigenous and environmental rights in Central America and the United States. This led to a year-long research project as a Fulbright Scholar in Congo-Brazzaville where she collaborated with a video-centered outreach project to determine the effectiveness of video to increase knowledge and, in turn, change behaviors to prevent the transmission of the Ebola virus.

Currently, she is a Senior Attorney and Program Manager with WITNESS, an international human right organization that specializes in using video to support change in human rights practice, policy and law. At WITNESS, she launched the inaugural Video Advocacy Institute, began the North America program and now leads WITNESS’ Video as Evidence project which supports human rights lawyers and activists to enhance the evidentiary value of the video they collect in hopes that it can be used to hold perpetrators of human rights abuses accountable and free the wrongly accused.

Having graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law and Montana State University’s MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking, Kelly’s passion is traveling to different corners of the world to support on-the-ground activists to use law and film to secure our basic human rights.

Contributed Resources:

Laurence Waucampt

United States  
Joined November 2016
Interests: Criminal Justice, Environmental Justice, Family
Belgian Human Rights Lawyer

Lizzie O'Shea

United States  
Joined November 2016
Interests: Environmental Justice, Generalist Legal Services
Human rights lawyer from Australia, working in the US. I have experience in public interest civil litigation on behalf of refugees, Aboriginal people and people targeted by national security legislation.

Sarah Kerr

United States  
Joined June 2016
Interests: Community / Customary Land Rights, Criminal Justice, Environmental Justice, Gender-based violence, Governance, Accountability & Transparency
I work distributing training resources on how people can use video for human rights advocacy and documentation.

Tara Vassefi

Joined January 2017
Interests: Governance, Accountability & Transparency, Peace-building & Transitional Justice, Right to Information
Hello everyone! I am currently a legal fellow with WITNESS and the Public Interest Law Network (PILnet) working on a project regarding video as evidence in Middle East and North Africa jurisdictions. I heard about Namati through several interesting people in this space and would love to join this network to connect with human rights lawyers focusing on the MENA region and also those working in documentation efforts (my two passions). I am currently in beautiful Tunis but will be touring the region over the next few months.
Jackie Zammuto is the network champion (main point of contact) for WITNESS.

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