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1 item from 2010

Facebook friends 'Tapestries of Hope'

7 September 2010 7:00 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

A harrowing trip to Africa cemented a filmmaker's bond with Facebook and created a new way for human rights activists to spread the word -- while promoting the social networking site's month-old streaming video channel.

A week into Michealene Cristini Risley's trip to the Republic of Zimbabwe in August 2007 to make a documentary exposing sexual abuse by men who believed raping virgin girls would cure their HIV/AIDS, the Bay Area filmmaker was arrested on trumped-up charges and thrown into prison -- putting her in danger of being raped herself.

After three days, an American journalist who read about Risley's predicament on her Facebook page alerted a CIA agent, who made a call to Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe. She was released unharmed and fled the country with her HD footage.

On Sept. 28, Risley will be at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., to thank its employees for the company's »

- By Alex Ben Block

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