On Friday, December 9, during Human Rights Week, Neyls has shared his story with students from the University of Amsterdam. Through Zoom, they discussed Neyls’ work in Venezuela, his stay in Utrecht, and what exactly Shelter City means for him as a human rights defender.
Before the Q&A session began, the students watched a documentary by Defiende Venezuela on the situation in Venezuela. In our last film screening ‘Punished for Protesting: how family members seek justice’ this documentary was shown as well. ‘Miradas de Memoria’ portrays the situation of ten family members of victims of human rights violations during the protests as they share their struggle with finding justice for their loved ones. Neyls is in this documentary himself, so the students had a good idea of his story before going into the Q&A.
The students had multiple very interesting questions to ask Neyls, some in English and some in Spanish. Because Neyls speaks most comfortably in Spanish, our translator Hania was present during the session to translate the students’ questions into Spanish for Neyls, and his answers back into English for the students.
Neyls answered questions about his stay in Utrecht and described how he has been able to take the time to rest in a safe space – even if everything is new to him. As well as how helpful it has been to be able to share his story with different people. Not just students, but also with international organizations, European institutions, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
With over twenty students attending, the flow of questions never slowed until it was time to end the Q&A. Neyls talked about organizations he works with in Venezuela, and the methodologies he uses in his work, as well as how the Shelter City program is supporting him in his return to Venezuela.
Sharing his story is important to Neyls and we are glad that he was given the opportunity to speak with students from the University of Amsterdam.
We would like to thank our translator Hania for her translations during the Zoom meeting!
Mede mogelijk gemaakt door vfonds.