Seeing through the rubble: Using crowdsourced data and fieldwork to investigate civilian deaths in Raqqa
The 6th June marks the two years anniversary since the beginning of the “war of annihilation”, a US-led Coalition military campaign to oust the armed group calling itself Islamic State from Raqqa, Syria. Four months of relentless bombardment killed and injured thousands of civilians and reduced homes, businesses and infrastructure to rubble.
Amnesty and Airwars have teamed up and conducted the most comprehensive investigation into civilian deaths in a modern conflict. The investigation, collating multiple data streams, gave a brutally vivid account of more than 1,600 civilian lives lost as a direct result of thousands of US, UK and French air strikes and tens of thousands of US artillery strikes.
This session will showcase how a team of investigators at Amnesty and Airwars supported by thousands of digital volunteers from around the world pieced together evidence such as field investigations, satellite images, thousands of user-generated videos and social media reports in one of the most comprehensive accounts of the Raqqa war. The panel will discuss challenges and opportunities for using multi-dimensional investigations for advocacy and change making, as well as the importance of preserving the ‘digital memory’ of modern conflicts that are increasingly monitored by civilians on the ground.