Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Bansil Sisters: Here's What We Know About Them So Far

In case you haven't been following the news lately, two sisters were abducted in Patikul, Sulu last Saturday by armed men believed to be members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). Nadjoua Abdel Bansil and Linda Abdel Bansil, referred to now in the media as the Bansil sisters were in Sulu to shoot a short film about the local coffee farmers there. They were on their way back to Jolo after spending the night in a place called Sinumaan when they were stopped in the road by at least 10 armed men. The two sisters were then taken away by the militants.

The family of the sisters and Amnesty International are now calling for the abductors to release their captives, mentioning that they are astute defenders of human rights and filmmakers who have focused their works on the plight of impoverished Muslims in Southern Mindanao.

Here is the trailer to one of their independent films. It's called Bohe: Sons of the Waves. It was an official entry at the 2012 Cinemalaya Film Festival in the Short Feature category. The film was directed by Nadjoua with Linda as the Assistant Director.
I find it ironic that Amnesty International had to cite that the two sisters are defenders of human rights. The Abu Sayyaf Group don't care if you are a human rights defender or not. This is a group that had been breaking human rights over and over again. The group isn't fighting for anything beside "ransom money". They are robbers, holduppers who become cold-blooded killers when things don't go their way.
The Bansil Sisters
The Bansil sisters have been long-time volunteers for human rights, says Amnesty International Philippines head, Ritz Lee Santos. Linda, 37,  has written for publications put out by Amnesty International. Nadjoua, 39, the elder sister has been volunteering on films that depict the travails and culture of Filipino indigenous groups. The sisters are Filipino-Algerians. Their mother is Algerian. They were born in Algeria but they grew up here in the Philippines.

As of the posting of this article, the Abu Sayyaf haven't come out to take responsibility for the abduction yet, although the popular belief is that they are behind it.








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