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UN images show SL forces bombing civilian safehaven; but is UN blocking this info?

May 2, 2009

Reuters – UN blocking release of Sri Lanka satellite images?
Fresh satellite images of the war zone in northeast Sri Lanka are available, but the UN agency charged with analysing them is not making them public. The images contain evidence of severe damage from heavy artillery and possibly air strikes, suggesting indiscriminate attacks in areas of high civilian concentration, which could be classed as war crimes carried out by the government of Sri Lanka…Initially that file — including both images and analysis — was publicly available…Then something seems to have changed at UNOSAT, and the online link to the PDF file is now password protected.

…In this conflict, both the government forces and the Tamil Tigers have been abdicating their responsibility to protect civilians from mass atrocity crimes. To me it is bordering on scandalous that possible evidence of such crimes has been locked up out of public view. The UN should release them.
Read full article here.

Download the images and make your own judgements.

Times Online – Images show Sri Lankan forces bombing civilian safehaven
Confidential UN satellite images leaked yesterday appear to show that the Sri Lankan Air Force bombed a safe haven for up to 150,000 civilians fleeing fighting against the Tamil Tigers.

The images contained in an internal UN report may constitute the strongest evidence yet of violations of international humanitarian law or war crimes, according to human rights activists. The report by Unosat, dated April 26, provides detailed images of the tiny strip of beach and coconut grove — now covering only 3.8sq miles (10sq km) — where the army has pinned down the Tigers along with thousands of civilians
Read full article here.

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