Tuesday, February 23, 2010

U.S.- based video processing company confirms authenticity of Sri Lanka's execution video

Click here to read Technical Note prepared by the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions
Click here to read the Appendix to the Technical Note

A U.S.-based company that analyzed the controversial Channel 4 video, showing an execution alleged to have been carried out by the Sri Lankan military, issued its own statement Thursday verifying the video’s authenticity.

Cognitech Inc., specializing in forensic video processing, was one of three “independent experts” requested to analyze the video by U.N. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Philip Alston. Following those investigations, Alston issued a statement on Jan. 7 indicating that all three experts had concluded from their investigations that the video is authentic.

The company stated that its technical representative and forensic multimedia analyst Jeff Spivak had successfully conducted the “forensic video processing and analysis” of the recording said to have been obtained using a cell phone.

The Video Investigator software used for the analysis was developed by Cognitech in 1988. The company claims its latest software package, consisting of a trio of programs including Video Investigator, to be “the most scientifically advanced and the only comprehensive forensic video processing and 3D analysis software in the world.”

In a phone interview with SLNN, a company official confirmed that it can state with 100 percent certainty that the video is authentic.

The recording, reportedly obtained by a group known as Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka, was broadcast on Britain’s Channel 4 in August 2009. Subsequently, the video was widely circulated on the Internet, increasing pressure on the Sri Lankan government to address human rights issues in the country.

The Sri Lankan government says its own analysis of the video has shown that it is not authentic and strongly denies allegations of human rights abuses during the final stages of the war.

Alston has requested a full investigation into the alleged incident.

© Sri Lanka News Network

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