New and Noteworthy
Last Thursday, HRDAG co-founder and director of research Megan Price presented at Strata, the conference for data scientists and people who work with “big data.” In her talk, she addressed the question of how we can know the actual number of conflict casualties in Syrian. Her short answer was, “We don’t know.” The longer answer was that we have a very good idea of how many conflict casualties have been reported, by several documentation groups, and that we’re working on analyzing (more…)
The critical threat is mass surveillance. In the words of The Day We Fight Back, “Together we will push back against powers that seek to observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action. Together, we will make it clear that such behavior is not compatible with democratic governance. Together, if we persist, we will win this fight.” (more…)
We were surprised and disappointed to learn that our colleague Claudia Paz y Paz has had her term as Guatemala’s attorney general cut short. The nation’s Constitutional Court ruled on 6 February that her four-year term will end this May, instead of in December. (She was appointed in December 2010, replacing an attorney general who was appointed in May 2010.)
During her term, she put four generals from Guatemala’s civil war on the stand for charges of crimes against humanity and genocide, including General José Efraín Ríos Montt, who ruled from 1982 to 1983. We were fortunate to work with her on that trial and to witness the handing down of a “guilty” verdict by the Supreme Court. As scientists, we applaud her dedication to using scientific analysis in prosecutions. (more…)
One year ago, HRDAG cast out on its own as an independent nonprofit—and this first year has been busy, productive, and exciting. We’re indebted to our Advisory Board for their valuable contributions and to our funders for their generosity and participation in our mission. Highlights of the past year include contributing testimony to three court cases, publishing two reports on conflict-casualties in Syria, presenting over a dozen talks (many of which are available on our talks page), traveling to over half a dozen countries to testify, collaborate with partners, and participate in conferences/workshops, hiring a new technical lead, and bringing in several of our far-flung colleagues for a work retreat.
As we turn the corner on our anniversary, we’re delighted to announce that Kim Keller, executive director of the Keller Foundation, joins our Advisory Board today. Kim’s background in social science and public health, her vision of the international human rights community, and her passion for health justice, will be a great influence and guide. (more…)