December 6, 2021
eyeWitness to Atrocities and Truth Houndsare co-hosting a 20th International Criminal Court Assembly of States Parties virtual side event. Titled, 'Using digital technology for war crimes documentation and accountability', the event is a panel of experts with practical experience utilising digital evidence for accountability. It is a discussion ideal for individuals, legal professionals, and civil society groups interested in capturing and using digital evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The event is sponsored by the International Bar Association,and will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, 14 December at 15.00-16.15 (GMT) / 17.00-18.15 (EET).Register via Zoom.
The proliferation of smartphones has made it easy to capture a photo or video of anything, anytime, anywhere. We have seen photos and videos of human rights violations and war crimes posted on social media. The use of such technology and platforms has increased awareness of events that might otherwise go unreported. However, as digital data is easy to manipulate, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to use this footage as evidence. Even footage depicting heinous crimes, if it cannot be verified, may be of little use to legal authorities investigating the perpetrators. If it goes to trial, the footage likely will not be admitted or will be given little weight. Without reliable information about the violations committed, justice may never be achieved.
eyeWitness to Atrocities (eyeWitness) provides an innovative solution, combining law and technology to equip human rights defenders with an app to record photos and videos of these crimes that can be admissible in court. The footage is embedded with unmodifiable metadata and is stored by eyeWitness in a confidential, secure, and verifiable manner, maintaining the chain of custody for when it is ready to be used for accountability. As no app alone can achieve justice, eyeWitness supports partners’ accountability efforts whilst becoming advocates for the footage to be used in investigations and trials.
During this side event, we will hear directly from longstanding eyeWitness partner Truth Hounds, who courageously document war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine. We will hear about their work and how they capture verifiable photos and videos to be used for accountability.
We will also discuss how eyeWitness seeks to streamline documentation efforts, amplify the reach of Truth Hounds’ footage, and advocate for it to be used in investigations and trials.
The road to justice can be long and complicated, and unfortunately not every effort is successful. We will give real-life examples of accountability efforts taken by Truth Hounds and eyeWitness in the context of footage received from Ukraine, discussing goals, challenges, and successes alike. Come join us!
Dr. Kathleen Roberts, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Partners in Justice International.
Tuesday, 14 December (15.00-16.15 GMT / 17.00-18.15 EET)