Parrot Provides Drones, Software for Human Rights Watch Investigation in Syria

drones for human rights

Much of the world is focused on the current Covid-19 crisis – but good works everywhere continue.  French manufacturer Parrot has donated drones, software and support to assist in human rights: most recently, for a Human Rights Watch investigation in Syria.

Assisting the Human Rights Watch investigation into ISIS atrocities in northern Syria, Parrot helped the HRW team capture aerial imagery and 3D data of the al-Hota gorge near Raqqa, a suspected mass grave site used by ISIS.

“As part of the investigation, Parrot provided ANAFI drones and on-call support for piloting and technical assistance. The dangerous terrain and steep cliffs of al-Hota made it necessary for Human Rights Watch investigators to use drones to capture imagery at the bottom of the gorge. Data captured by the drones was also used to create a 3D topographical model of the al-Hota gorge with the software Pix4D Mapper. These 3D maps may be used to further investigate below the surface of the water,” says a Parrot press release.

“Human Rights Watch is doing incredibly important work around the world,” said Henri Seydoux, chairman and CEO of Parrot. “We are honored to push the boundaries of how our technologies can be applied to help them in their missions.”

The HRW investigation began in 2017, and has resulted in an extensive report: “Into the Abyss: The al-Hota Mass Grave in Northern Syria.” “As a result of the investigation, Human Rights Watch calls upon local authorities to treat al-Hota and other suspected ISIS mass graves in Syria as crime scenes, identify the victims at the bottom of the gorge, notify the families of those who were killed, and hold accountable those who committed atrocities,” says the press release.

See the video below for more information and stunning footage from the project.  (Please be aware that some images may be disturbing.)

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Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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