UPDATE, 7 JANUARY 2010: As groundviews' citizen journalist Sanjana Hattotuwa tells us in the comments field below, the UN has just confirmed the authenticity of the video and called on the Sri Lankan government to take appropriate action. Read the full press release here (thanks Sanjana!).
UPDATE, 15 DECEMBER: According to an independent investigator specializing in video forensics hired by The Times (UK), the Sri Lanka execution video is indeed authentic. According to the investigator, who is an instructor at the FBI National Academy, the video contains no evidence of editing, digital manipulation, or other special effects, but does contain subtle details consistent with a real shooting, such as smoke coming from gun barrels after shots are fired. Additionally, the expert found strong evidence that actors were not used - at that range, blanks would still cause serious injury or death, and the victims fall backward in a very realistic motion after being shot. The video was also found to have an embedded code matching the software found in Nokia mobile phones (The Sri Lankan government's investigators had claimed the video was shot on a sophisticated camera, not a mobile phone, as Channel 4 News had said).
Also contributing to the mounting evidence against the Sri Lankan government are the statements of retired General Sarath Fonseka, who claims that Sri Lankan Defense Minister Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, ordered the army to shoot surrendering Tamil leaders rather than imprison them. Fonseka is currently running for president against Rajapaksa, and has said he is not against a war crimes investigation.
UPDATE, 26 OCTOBER: Two new claims have been made concerning the veracity of the Sri Lanka video and investigations into its authenticity. Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a U.S.-based pressure group, sponsored a study of the video by an as yet unnamed U.S.-based forensics company. According to TamilNet, the study found that the video was not tampered with or doctored. The study also cast doubt on the Sri Lankan inquiry that deemed the video fraudulent, stating that the experts had analyzed a second generation video from News Channel 4's Web site, not the original footage.
**This post is part of an ongoing series that showcases users and videos from the Hub**
Can you imagine being constantly harassed and persecuted because of your job?
This video by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) documents the real stories of abortion providers, clinic employees and patients who have been - and continue to be - subjected to intimidation and harassment as a result of their work and personal choices. After the murder of Dr. George Tiller - shot and killed by an anti-abortion activist in May 2009 - many of these professionals are increasingly concerned about their safety. Some doctors, like Jennifer Boulanger of Pennsylvania, have even had to face protestors picketing their homes: "Every day I worry about being shot or targeted, especially now that Dr. Tiller was murdered. I've never felt this vulnerable in my job.