case study 1

18 Mar Introduction- Model 1

Fighters with Islamic State (IS) launched a surprise attack on the Syrian city of Sweida on July 25, 2018, killing at least 240 people and injuring more than 170. During the attack, IS fighters kidnapped 30 people from towns in eastern Sweida, comprising 22 female captives, women
READ MORE

14 Mar Case Study Conclusions

This case study shows the benefits of taking a structured approach to monitoring a single incident of this kind, applying Storyful's methodology of building reliable local sources to follow a story as it develops. Facebook is by far the most used and most popular social
READ MORE

14 Mar Ethical use of perpetrator content

IS fighters produced, or allowed for the release of, a series of photos and videos showing captives. In the videos, women are seen requesting that the government acquiesces to the IS demands for a prisoner swap. Despite the value of the videos as a propaganda
READ MORE

14 Mar Finding and Recording Metadata

Assessing the videos Video 1: Suad Adeeb Abu Ammar speaks to camera Source: Islamic State via Najeeb Abu Fakher (Activist) (Confirmed) Location: Unknown location near Sweida. (Unconfirmed) Date: July 28 (Corroborated) Archived here. A video (archive) and photos (archive) of the hostages emerged on local
READ MORE

14 Mar Role of Perpetrator Video

Hostage-taking during a conflict is a war crime. IS used the hostages captured in Sweida to negotiate for the release of prisoners held by the Syrian government. During the negotiation process, IS fighters produced, or allowed the release of, a series of photos and videos
READ MORE

14 Mar Relevant Reporting

Following the IS attack on Sweida, local sources reported on the abduction of civilians. Storyful’s years of reporting on the war in Syria allowed us to create lists of reliable sources, catalogued for internal use with relevant information: names, translated names, logos (where appropriate), associated
READ MORE

14 Mar Methodology

This case study discusses the ethical challenges mentioned above, and sets out the methodology used to build a process for a story of this type, defined by WITNESS for the purposes of this report as a Model 1 investigation – the investigation of a single
READ MORE

14 Mar Outcome

Storyful identified the women seen in some of the videos, and by watching the story develop over time, showed that those women were from Sweida and identified sources on the ground who could provide corroborating information. As a result of Storyful’s reporting, a number of
READ MORE

14 Mar Purpose

Storyful’s interest in the story was  journalistic – what could we find out about the victims, their families, or their captors through an analysis of open source material, in order to tell their stories. The investigation posed a unique question – how could we link
READ MORE

Help WITNESS create more human rights change

Join us by subscribing to our newsletter.

Support WITNESS