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[liberationtech] Satellite phones for Rohingya in Burma

Brian Conley brianc at
Mon Mar 18 13:19:28 PDT 2013

Hi Heather,

First of all, I can't echo Jacob's concerns enough. You can find a concise
overview of the risks of using satellite phones in a guide I authored last
year: (specifically:

If you're still considering using a satellite phone, I would suggest that,
with a clearly defined strategy, strong plan for success, and acceptance of
the risks, there isn't likely to be a more effective tool for getting
verbal or shortform text updates out.

However this means you need not only people inside willing to take the
risks to call out with updates and news, you also need a guarantee from
journalists and news agencies outside that they WILL RUN the reports.
Without guarantees that the news will be used/distributed broadly, its
certainly not worth the risk.

It's true that small cameras taking pictures on microSD cards which are
then transported out by hand is SAFER, it may not be more effective. Again,
without a complete chain of impact from creation to distribution of the
media, nothing will be effective. If your colleagues will be producing
video or photo content, I'd be happy to provide some advice/resources to
improve their work.

I'm happy to speak more, and may be able to put you in touch with some
journalists who would be interested in traveling over, and/or using the
reports your colleagues might produce.



On Sun, Mar 17, 2013 at 12:17 PM, ttscanada <ttscanada at> wrote:

>  Hi all,
> For those that aren't aware, 800,000 Rohingya people in Burma are being
> cut off from communication as the military and government try to drive them
> out of the country. Over 100,000 are being starved to death in
> concentration camps, the rest are driven into boats which neighbouring
> countries are refusing to allow to land. There have been two large scale
> massacres as well, one in June, one in October. Our contacts have been
> saying for weeks there is another massacre planned for the end of March,
> but even if there weren't, they are living in houses made of straw and
> plastic bags with no food or medical aid and the rains are coming. This is
> a full scale genocide supported by the current Burma/Myanmar government.
> Media and aid groups are blocked and the people are jailed just for having
> a TV, they have no phones.
> More information, check out over 100 pages of links here
> the #Rohingya tag on
> Twitter or google.
> We have a way to hopefully get some journalists in to document war crimes.
> We need satellite phones for the Rohingya people as well, as many as
> possible, donated would be great. If anyone has any ideas for a good phone
> source it would be appreciated.
> All the best,
> Heather Marsh
> @GeorgieBC on Twitter
> --
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Brian Conley

Director, Small World News

m: 646.285.2046

Skype: brianjoelconley
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