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Amnesty's spy in the sky for Darfur

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Amnesty International is asking web surfers to get involved in monitoring genocide in Darfur by checking images of villages taken by satellite cameras.

Google Earth has already been cited as providing evidence of gun running to Sudan, where the government is accused of supporting Janjaweed militias in their attacks on towns and villages in the Darfur region.

Google Earth and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum launched a project in April to map the devastation and keep it in the public eye in order to keep pressure on the Sudanese government.

Amnesty International has chosen 12 villages in Sudan and eastern Chad it believes to be most at risk of attack. New images will be added regularly so attacks can be monitored. The project includes an archive showing the thousands of homes already destroyed.

The group has an online petition to sign and is also asking the public to either email Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, or print out a letter or fax. You can do either from this page, or visit the Eyes on Darfur website.

Amnesty worked with the American Association for the Advancement of Science on the project. The images can record objects on the ground as small as two feet across.

In other news, Amnesty and five other organisations have released a list of 39 people they believe are still being held in secret CIA prisons. It is calling on the US government to end the use of secret imprisonment and make public the fate of people already taken. ®

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