When society turns its back…


When society turns its back to a group, the individuals of this group easily loose their fundamental rights and dignity. When already socially marginalized there is no-one to turn to, as no-one believes you and everyone turn your story to their advantage. In this vicious circle every attempt to be heard publicly is turned into another humiliating experience. You are judged before hand.


Last century Europe took measures to rise the awareness of the equal rights and dignity of all. The discrimination based on gender, age or race has been successfully diminished along with discrimination of ethnic or sexual minorities as well as people with physical or mental handicaps. Still, there is a blind spot in society regarding discrimination regarding conscience or belief. If you chose to live your life according to conscience or belief differing from the norm of society, you may still today find yourself exposed without anyone to turn to.

The 17 year old MD was caught in the Romanian raids against the yoga school MISA in 2004. She was pressured to declare that she had a sexual relation with Mr. Gregorian Bivolaru, the leader of a spiritual movement. The coming 8 years her life has turned into a nightmare; her diary and intimate pictures are published in tabloid papers where she is depicted as a prostitute or sex-slave, her family isolates her against her will, she is harassed in school and can not finish her education.


Her forced declaration later became a key element in the MISA case, where prosecutors considered her the “victim” of MISA and Mr Bivolaru. MD’s story is the contrary; that she was never the victim of Mr. Bivolaru or MISA but of the Romanian police and prosecutor.


In 2005 MD was heard by the Swedish Supreme Court. Here, in a country where MISA is not socially marginalized her testimonial regarding MISA and the Romanian abuses was considered “highly credible”. Following the decision Mr. Bivolaru received asylum in Sweden but for MD the situation did not change, as she returned to be mocked or humiliated by Romanian authorities and media.


The following films touch the heart of the human dimension when society is blind to its own discrimination and turns its back to certain groups. MD’s open and courageous participation touch the heart of human rights abuses in Europe today.