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Technology, Syria, and Human Rights: How a Tech - "Connected" Civil Society Might Hold Governments Accountable

February 13, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Encina Hall, 616 Serra St., WJP Conference Room, 2nd Floor

While the war in Syria has dragged on without resolution, one thing remains clear: there is ample documentation of human rights abuses and potential war crimes collected by civil society actors. Organizing this voluminous and unstructured body of information and extracting data and evidence useful for a criminal justice process presents interesting questions for how information technology could assist the pursuit of accountability. This event convenes a panel of scholars and civil society actors who will address the challenge of accountability in the Syrian conflict generally; cutting-edge work by civil society to fill the accountability gap; the role of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and video in human rights investigations; and Benetech’s new initiative, in partnership with Stanford, to help connect civil society to advance human rights and bolster the rule of law.


  • Shabnam Mojtahedi - International lawyer specializing in legal reform and rule of law in the MENA region. Legal and Strategy Analyst for the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre.
  • Beth Van Schaack - Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School and Handa Center Faculty Fellow. Former Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice of the U.S. Department of State.
  • Hadi Al Khatib - Human rights worker and founder of the Syrian Archive (via video link).
  • Keith Hiatt (moderator) - Vice President of Human Rights at Benetech and Research Fellow at the Handa Center. 
Event Sponsor: 
WSD Handa Center for Human Rights & Int'l Justice and Benetech
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