Theft At U. Washington Leaves Human Rights Workers On Edge

Jennifer Wing reports:

The theft of a computer and hard-drive containing the names and stories of people who survived the war in El Salvador has human rights workers on edge. The break-in happened in Smith Hall, in the offices of the University of Washington’s Center for Human Rights, or CHR.

UW’s Campus Police Department says sometime between October 14-18, Dr. Angelina Godoy’s desktop computer and an external hard drive were taken. Godoy is CHR’s Director. There was no sign of forced entry.

The stolen devices contain personal testimonies that are part of ongoing human rights investigations involving survivors of the war in El Salvador, a civil war that killed more than 75,000 people between 1980 and 1991. During the conflict the US provided military aid to the Salvadoran Government.

Read more on KPLU.

In related coverage, Derek Wang and Gil Aegerter explain:

The center’s lawsuit alleges that the CIA is illegally withholding information about an El Salvador army officer who is suspected of human rights violations during that Central American country’s civil war in the 1980s.

Center officials say they have backup copies of the information on the computer drives, but they’re concerned because the drives had about 90 percent of the information being used in the lawsuit, including sensitive details about personal testimonies and pending investigations.

Read more on KUOW.

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