Newswise — Myanmar. Darfur. Iraq. Civil unrest and human rights violations exist in every part of the world. Now—through the Internet and with the help of Syracuse University College of Law students—victims or observers can report instances of global violence and possible genocide—and have their voices heard.
Founded by SU law professor David M. Crane L'80, the former chief prosecutor of the Special Court to Sierra Leone, Impunity Watch, the first global blog to monitor instances of impunity, is set to launch on Oct. 11. Its unique format offers readers an uncensored online dialogue that sorts issues of impunity by global regions and a separate area that allows posting of academic or formal papers on the issues of impunity. Henry King, the 88-year-old former Nuremberg prosecutor, will be part of the ceremony to launch Impunity Watch at the College of Law's library atrium that day at 11 a.m. King will also offer a lecture, "Judgment of Nuremberg in Today's World," at 6 p.m. on campus.
"It's all about giving people a voice, an ability to cry out when the beast of impunity begins to rear its ugly head," says Crane. "This launch begins a process where we can begin to make people aware of the pain and suffering caused by bad governance, corruption and cynical warlords, bringing to light their actions and monitoring situations where human rights are challenged. Indifference is a huge challenge in fighting impunity."
Impunity Watch uses three distinct functions to inform, analyze and publicize human rights violations. First, law students research the latest human rights violations and reports in seven geographic regions. Each report is purely fact-based and meant to spread knowledge.
The second function encompasses the special features and scholarly articles sections. In this area, staff members write op-eds on overarching human rights issues and publish in-depth analytical human rights papers written by professionals, academics and students. The final function of Impunity Watch is the message board function. The message board creates a vehicle for persecuted people to tell the world that they are suffering and allows anyone to express their thoughts or opinions about human rights.
"Impunity Watch has the potential to be the forerunner in global reporting on human rights issues," says Editor in Chief Amy Glasrud L'08. "Our launch will culminate hours of diligent preparation and research, producing a new facet for the College of Law's students, faculty and alumni."
Not only will Impunity Watch serve as a way for people to communicate with the rest of the world; it will also serves as a resource for global journalists and bloggers to connect and report on instances of impunity.
For more information, visit Impunity Watch at http://www.impunitywatch.net.