By Alagie Manneh
eyeWitness to Atrocities (eyeWitness), an organisation initiated by the International Bar Association (IBA) based in the UK, yesterday announced in a statement that former Gambian chief prosecutor of The Hague, Fatou Bensouda has joined its Board of Trustees.
Ms Bensouda, currently Gambia High Commissioner to the UK, well-known for her works in international law and criminal justice, said of her appointment: “I am honoured to be appointed to the eyeWitness Board of Trustees. It is a great opportunity to be able to bring my humble contributions to serve a worthy cause.”
“As the former Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda has played a crucial role in pursuing accountability for the most heinous of crimes,” said Dr Mark Ellis, eyeWitness originator and IBA executive director. “In doing so, she has garnered global recognition and enduring admiration. Her distinguished background, dedication to the rule of law and exceptional legal expertise makes her an invaluable addition to eyeWitness to Atrocities’ Board of Trustees. We are honoured to welcome her and look forward to the contributions she will make furthering the goals of eyeWitness.”
The Director of eyeWitness, Carrie Bowker, called the coming of Bensouda “a privilege”.
“Her exceptional track record speaks volumes about her dedication to upholding human rights and seeking accountability for atrocity crimes,” said stated, adding that: “With Ms Bensouda on board, we look forward to advancing our mission of promoting accountability for mass atrocity crimes through the verifiable documentation of atrocity crimes and human rights violations.”
The eyeWitness to Atrocities app, the statement explained, is an award-winning, free, mobile phone camera tool for Android phones that enables on-the-ground documenters to capture verifiable photo, video and audio footage of human rights violations. “At the moment of capture, the eyeWitness app embeds the footage with the metadata required to demonstrate authenticity, allowing the footage to be relied on by investigators and to be used in court. Then, when an app user sends footage to the eyeWitness server, it is stored in a secure LexisNexis repository in a way that guarantees the chain of custody. Thereafter, in collaboration with a team of lawyers, eyeWitness analyses the received footage and prepares detailed dossiers for a range of domestic and international accountability mechanisms, including at the ICC and UN. To date, more than 65,000 photos, videos and audio files have been captured using the eyeWitness app.”