In November 2013, Crude Accountability contacted the Geospatial Technologies Project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to request assistance in establishing a timeline for the construction of the Ovadan-Depe prison, as well as evaluating, where possible, reports that its inmates are subjected to living conditions that violate their human rights. In partnership with this initiative, AAAS has sought to verify these concerns using high-resolution satellite imagery. The primary issues this analysis seeks to address are: 1) when the prison was built and whether any parts of it have undergone significant change; and 2) whether individuals living nearby were forcibly re-located from the area, as some reports have claimed. Other questions focus on the conditions in which the inmates are held, for example, whether anything can be determined about the presence of climate control in the facilities, or the presence of areas conducive to mosquito breeding. Finally, the investigation searched for signs of burials at the prison complex; any evidence of such interments would be extremely useful to those attempting to determine the fate of the missing long-term detainees.
Visit www.aaas.org/geotech/AAAS-Turkmenistan-Prison-92014.html for the web version of this report.