In response to the government of Zimbabwe’s May 2005 campaign to demolish settlements it claimed to be illegal, Amnesty International asked AAAS to obtain and analyze satellite imagery of four communities where homes were thought to have been removed. Human rights groups suspect these demolitions were ordered in retaliation against communities that supported the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, in Zimbabwe’s recent elections. After analyzing approximately 256 square kilometers, AAAS found that more than 5,000 structures had been removed from the communities of Porta Farm, Hatcliffe, Chitungwiza, and Killarney. Based on these conclusions, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights has submitted the satellite imagery to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, where a case is pending.
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