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Human rights documentary was shown at library

The screening held at the Hastings Pleasant Hill Library at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 19 had an audience of 12, and encouraged its organizers, Ellie Childers, Christina Melecio and Michele Whyle, to host a second screening in September at the Hastings Community Center. In addition to the second screening of the documentary “Honor Diaries”, Canadian author of “Not My Jihad” and women’s rights activist Raheel Raza will be speaking to the audience.

“It isn’t just women who are supportive of this cause,” said Christina Melecio. “We need everyone on board to make a change.” Although it is nine women rights activists who produced and created this movie, anyone who sees the film can be affected equally. In fact, it was Michele Whyle’s father who first introduced Whyle, Melecio and Childers to the movie “Honor Diaries”.

“Seeing the movie will affect your thought process, and make you want to help out in some way,” said Melecio. “ I saw what I have, and I saw what (these women) have. It isn’t fair that geographic placement changes everything.” Melecio became especially passionate about the cause when she understood that the problem of honor violence did not lie with culture or religion, but with the absence of basic human rights.

“The problem is that people are not aware that others are being silenced. Yes, you can’t group people and label them, but that doesn’t change the fact that women in Saudi Arabia can’t walk in public without a man to accompany them.” said Melecio. “This movie is only 50 minutes long, and it’s worth the watch. You will see actual pain; you will see what is actually happening.” To learn more about where the screening is being held, or more about the movie “Honor Diaries”, visit

Lydia Birt
Lydia Birt is the Hastings Star Gazette's summer intern. She is a 2014 graduate of Hastings High School and plans to study journalism at the University of Missouri this fall. She is part of the Pohlad internship program through the Minnesota Newspaper Association.
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