Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The junta cannot hide - but will the world look for them?

High-Resolution Satellite Imagery and the Conflict in Eastern Burma

/Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Project /

Since late 2006, the Science and Human Rights Program of the American

Association for the Advancement of Science has compiled a set of

high-resolution satellite images to document the ongoing conflict in

Karen State and other regions of Burma. This study in Burma follows

similar activities undertaken by AAAS on Zimbabwe, Darfur, and elsewhere as part of its Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights project.

Monitoring human rights violations in eastern Burma with satellite

imagery utilises on-the ground information reported via websites and

email from organizations active in the region. These organisations

include the Free Burma Rangers, the Karen Human Rights Group, and the

Thailand Burma Border Consortium.

Their reporting was reviewed by AAAS staff and compared with a set of geospatial data and traditional maps on eastern Burma to precisely locate villages and areas that may have been attacked. These locations were then compared with existing archives of commercial, high-resolution satellite imagery, and in many cases new satellite imagery was ordered as well. Using these sets of satellite imagery, AAAS staff determined if visible evidence of reported attacks was found.

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