International Institute of Space Law

Article

The Documentation of Human Rights Violations by Satellites: The Satellite Sentinel Project

Keywords Documentation of international crimes, satellite images, evidence, Space Law instruments
Authors Ingrid Barbosa Oliveira en Jonathan Percivalle de Andrade
Author's information

Ingrid Barbosa Oliveira
I. B. Oliveira, Faculty of Law, International Law Postgraduate Center, Catholic University of Santos, Santos, São Paulo, Brazil.

Jonathan Percivalle de Andrade
J. P. de Andrade, Faculty of Law, Department of International Law, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Abstract

      The present work aims to examine and study the organization “The Satellite Sentinel Project”, created to monitor the commission of international crimes in Sudan, which was essential to support the attacked civilian population and document human rights violations that occurred during the Civil War. By that, it is possible to understand that space technology can also be considered an important asset in the human rights protection systems, especially regarding the production of evidence of heinous acts of violence. Therefore, an important question arises: are those images able to guarantee legal standards to human rights systems regardless of the lack of regulation of satellite use in this particular area? For this purpose, the Sudan case was studied in light of the evidence obtained by the Satellite Sentinel Project, in order to understand its effectiveness. In sequence, the Space Law instruments, which regulate Earth observation and remote sensing activities, were examined. Finally, the discussion relied on the lawfulness and admissibility of satellite imagery as evidence before accountability proceedings.

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