Arul Prakkash, Senior Program Manager, Asia & the Pacific
Prakkash is a human rights activist, community organizer and media specialist leading WITNESS’ programmatic work in Asia and the Pacific. He works to strengthen the use of video to expose human rights violations in critical response situations in the region, such as war crimes, ethnic cleansing, forced evictions, elections-related violence, police abuse, and others.
He trains and supports frontline activist networks, grassroots movements, social network influencers, journalists, independent media, citizens, and NGOs in the use of video and technology for human rights, and especially their evidentiary uses. This includes video archiving and region-wide advocacy, as well as issues of digital security and physical safety.
Prakkash’s expertise includes the use of internet and social media technology for human rights education and advocacy in southeast Asia. Prakkash has been immersed in grassroots multimedia communications for more than 20 years in Malaysia, especially with civil society organizations, independent media, and activists. He also has extensive experience in using popular communications in empowering and advocating for human rights, and community organizing with urban poor youth, indigenous peoples’ communities and plantation workers.
Before joining WITNESS in 2014, Prakkash had for 10 years served as the executive director and senior program staff member at Pusat Komas, a popular communications and human rights NGO in Malaysia. He was also a steering committee member of BERSIH 2.0, a civil society movement advocating for free and fair elections in Malaysia. He later helped set up and co-coordinate a nationwide web-based election observation body, and trained hundreds of independent observers during the 2013 Malaysian general elections.
Prakash recently directed the documentary film Melawan Arus (‘Against the Tide’), which traces the growing critical mass movement that toppled the 61-year Barisan Nasional government in Malaysia.