Documenting Human Rights Violations in Challenging Environments

"I was in solitary confinement for 18 days with no access to my lawyer or to my family, no shower, and harsh physical conditions. I had no access to books, television, radio, or a pen... After 27 hours in solitary confinement, I was charged with things that weren't even crimes." Abdolfatah Soltani (Source)

From the passage only, the witness states that the event occurred over an 18-dayperiod. However, if we look at the source article–the Human Rights Watch report–we get a broader view of the “when”. For example, although the prisoner was in solitary confinement for 18 days, he was in prison for a total of 72 days, from June 16 to August 28. Moreover, another aspect of the “when” could be “following the 2009 disputed presidential elections in Iran” – although this isn’t a specific date or time, this aspect of the “when” is important to understanding the full context of the incident.

Key Takeaway

To accurately report on the “when”, gather as much information as possible with the information at your disposal – don’t stop looking until you have a full understanding of the “when”, or until you have run out of places to look.