ICC prosecutor courts Hollywood with Invisible Children

LOS ANGELES Sun Apr 1, 2012 7:29pm EDT

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court threw his weight behind Invisible Children, the group behind the viral hit "Kony 2012" video, in Los Angeles this weekend, promoting the group's initiative to Hollywood insiders.

An intimate group of film directors, producers and actors gathered in the home of "Independence Day" director Roland Emmerich on Saturday evening for a dinner party dedicated to Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor for the world's first permanent war crimes court.

The prosecutor used the opportunity to introduce attendees to Jedidiah Jenkins, Invisible Children's Director of Ideology, and encourage them to support online video activism.

"I love Invisible Children. I love them," Moreno-Ocampo told Reuters after hugging Jenkins at the dinner. "Their video is making a huge change in stopping Joseph Kony, I believe."

Kony, accused of terrorizing northern Uganda for two decades, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. He is accused of abducting children to use as fighters and sex slaves and is said to like hacking off limbs.

Moreno-Ocampo and Jenkins met after the court indicted Joseph Kony in 2005, and Moreno-Ocampo has mentored Jenkins and other members of Invisible Children informally over the years.

The "Kony 2012" video sparked criticism over what some called its misleading and oversimplified portrayal of current events in Uganda.

The organization took another hit when its founder, Jason Russell, suffered a public meltdown in March that doctors described as a brief psychotic breakdown.

"He is on the road to recovery. It's going to be months, the doctors say, but he is recovering," Jenkins said, adding that the care facility Russell is in won't let him be very involved with the organization in the near future.

On Saturday night, Moreno-Ocampo introduced Jenkins to Hollywood activists and praised the "Kony 2012" video, which was viewed by 100 million people in just six days after its release in early March.

"The Invisible Children movie is adding social interest that institutions need to achieve results," Moreno-Ocampo told Reuters and AFP in an exclusive interview earlier in the day.

"Invisible Children will, I think, produce the arrest of Joseph Kony this year," he said.

The dinner had 40-some attendees including "Law and Order" actor Sam Waterston, "Star Trek" actor Zachary Quinto and "Battlestar Galactica" director Bryan Singer.

"I'm excited to work with the prosecutor in a more open way," Jenkins said.

Invisible Children is forging ahead while Russell continues his recovery, Jenkins said.

Jenkins said a "Kony 2012, Part II" video is expected to be released on Tuesday. It was designed for an international audience with more details on Kony's Lord's Resistance Army and more voices from the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the LRA is currently based, he said.

On April 20, the group will sponsor a "Cover the Night" day of activism, in which supporters are expected to volunteer for five hours in their communities to push back against criticism the group has received over what Jenkins dubbed "slacktivism" or "clicktivism."

Moreno-Ocampo, who is about to retire from the court, hailed the commitment of a new generation to international justice.

"It's a new world. All over the world, the new generation says, 'Stop ignoring crimes by our leaders.' We cannot live in such a world. And that is my mission, too," Moreno-Ocampo said.

(Reporting By Mary Slosson; Editing by David Bailey)

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Comments (2)
waterfront11 wrote:
People need to ask why Ocampo would support IC. IC used false information and outdated footage for an awareness campaign on an issue that has been resolved. Why would anybody hold Jedidiah Jenkins or any IC member as an educated credible source? A video of Jenkins joking about stealing funds from a contest was released last week. He pretended to be drunk. IC has come under fire for false information, lies about the number of LRA, misuse of funds, stealing bracelet designs from a local San Diego artist, and a mental breakdown by founder who couldn’t handle being confronted on his misleading campaign. I keep asking myself why Ocampo would support IC even when other members of ICC have raised serious concerns over the plan to train Uganda military because they too have tortured their people as well as used child soldiers. Certainly Ocampo is concerned that IC has a bad reputation with Ugandans not affiliated with their organization. The Kony 2012 was banned because it made nationals upset; they threw rocks at the film! A group of activists as well as Ugandans demonstrated at IC headquarters on Saturday. There is nothing about this organization from their hip hop promos to their false campaigns that screams educated or trustworthy. Yet Ocampo chooses to support them instead of the million of Sudanese, Ugandans, and Congolese people who are trying to rebuild and have asked that this campaign not be followed. Ocampo supports an organization who has been confronted for years for not representing the true crisis in Uganda. He would rather support their lies than concerns/facts from humanitarians, scholars, etc who have been involved with this issue before IC hit puberty. It is absurd. I kept asking myself why? Then I remembered…..ICC wants U.S. involvement. The US is currently not part of ICC and they desperately want US involvement. So, could it be Ocampo is using IC and celebrities instead of people who actually know what is going on in these areas? It is easier to use uniformed puppets to put pressure on the U.S. gov’t then to try to convince those involved he is right. Please research this people. Do not follow flashy media campaigns nor celebrities. Do not be influenced by Hollywood. They are good at entertaining, not world issues. Leave that to the experts.

Apr 01, 2012 8:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
waterfront11 wrote:
Ah…got it! Just read an article that Ocampo mentored IC beginning in 2005. ICC should be leary of Ocampo’s agenda. Invisible Children has proven to mislead people with false and outdated information. In any other situation, an organization like this would be outed. ICC needs to confront Ocampo on his agenda and use of “glitter” versus truth.

Apr 02, 2012 9:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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