Support Human Rights Activists in Syria

Support Human Rights Activists in Syria

Project Report | Oct 6, 2023
Update Support Human Rights Activists in Syria #6

By Michael Ader | Communications Officer

SJAC published two new training videos this quarter. While much of our documentation training focuses on collecting witness and survivor statements, these new videos teach specific skills on open-source data analysis.

Field documentation is a critical tool for activists, however, conditions on the ground may prevent access to witnesses and survivors. In these situations, the analysis of open-source data, including images, videos, and social media posts can become an important resource for investigating claims of war crimes and human rights abuses.

In the first video, SJAC’s documentation analysts demonstrate the process of identifying unknown actors in videos and images. This can be a valuable skill for revealing the identity of perpetrators who appear in videos, as well as victims whose fate may have otherwise been unknown.

The video illustrates two practical examples of identifying individuals who are suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity. It then details tracking these individuals through various sources, such as their own social media, to uncover their identity, affiliations, and roles in the crimes.

The Second video focuses on the process of geolocating images and videos to corroborate their authenticity. The large amount of digital documentation produced during the conflict can lead to mislabeling and misattribution, both intentionally to mislead viewers, or accidentally as videos get shared between multiple people. As documentation activists work to build a comprehensive picture of atrocities, it is necessary to identify videos and images that support their investigation and use geolocation skills to link this media to the events under investigation.

The video presents two scenarios where geolocation is necessary and guides viewers through the process of verifying the authenticity and credibility of imagery and using specialized open-source tools that aid in the geolocation process. With these skills, activists can lead credible investigations that reveal the true extent of crimes committed in a conflict.


Although these videos are currently accessible on YouTube, they will eventually be included in SJAC’s documentation training platform where SJAC plans to post additional data-analysis trainings in the coming months.

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Organization Information


Location: Washington, DC - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @SJAC_info
Project Leader:
Michael Ader
Washington , DC United States

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