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Satellite Images of Mass Grave Site

In May of 2009 the Science and Human Rights Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) undertook a review of satellite imagery acquired of the Sheberghan area in the Jowzjan Province of northern Afghanistan. This review was done at the request of Physicians for Human Rights, who asked AAAS to provide satellite imagery analysis for their investigation of possible mass graves at Dasht-e-Leili, near Sheberghan.

According to PHR, the graves had reportedly been created in 2001. Then, at some point during 2006 two large pits were dug and the fill from them taken away. Hoping to clarify the excavation date, PHR requested that AAAS research and acquire available satellite imagery of the area to determine when the two sizeable pits, possibly comprising the excavated graves, might have first appeared.

Using coordinates provided by PHR, AAAS located and analyzed multiple images of the site acquired by the QuickBird, Ikonos, TopSat, and SPOT-5 satellites.

Images and text on this page are drawn from the AAAS report, High-Resolution Satellite Imagery and Possible Mass Graves in Sheberghan, Afghanistan, June 26, 2009 (pdf).

These images are also available for viewing and download on Flickr and as a .kml file for viewing in Google Earth.

October 24, 2007: Two Pits Present, Wider View

AAAS Satellite Image, October 24, 2007: Two Pits Present (wider view)

October 24, 2007: Close-up of two pits

AAAS Satellite Image, October 24, 2007: Two Pits Present (close-up)

August 5, 2006: One Pit Present, Possible Excavation Vehicles Onsite

AAAS Satellite Image, August 5, 2006 - One Pit Present, Possible Excavation Vehicles Onsite

August 5, 2006: Possible Excavation Vehiles Visible (closeup)

AAAS Satellite Image, August 5, 2006 - Possible Excavation Vehicles Onsite (closeup)

July 2, 2004: No Pits Present

AAAS Satellite Image, July 2, 2004 - No Pits Present

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