Monthly Archives: November 2004

Iraqi Technical Delegation Completes Visit to ICMP

Members of a technical delegation of Iraqi missing persons officials concluded a week-long fact-finding visit to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Bosnia-Herzegovina Friday, saying they would like to apply ICMP methods to the missing persons problem in Iraq.The five-person delegation included the Iraqi Minister for Human Rights of Iraq, His Excellency Dr. Bakhtiar Amin, who departed Sarajevo on Monday, accompanied by the head of the Baghdad Medico-Legal Institute. The three remaining missing persons officials, who work in the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry, left Sarajevo this afternoon.

Iraqi officials estimate there are between 300,000 and one million missing persons in Iraq, believed to be buried in mass graves around the country. The goal of this fact-finding visit was for members of the delegation to learn about the assistance ICMP can offer in addressing the missing persons issue in Iraq. ICMP gave detailed introductions to its work on assisting…

Iraqi Human Rights Minister Studies ICMP Work on Missing Persons

At the end of a four-day visit with the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Minister for Human Rights of Iraq, His Excellency Dr. Bakhtiar Amin, said Monday that the experiences of ICMP and of Bosnia-Herzegovina could help in finding ways to address the missing persons issue in Iraq.The Iraqi Government estimates there are more than one million missing persons in Iraq, buried in mass graves across the country. But with few facilities or specialists, the Government recognizes it is ill-equipped to deal with the missing persons issue.

ICMP, an international organization funded through grants, donations and contributions from participating governments, was initially established to address the missing persons issue in the former Yugoslavia. It has focused exclusively on missing persons since its foundation in 1996 and has developed extensive expertise on the issue. Dr. Amin said he was greatly impressed by the work of ICMP and…

Iraqi Human Rights Minister to Visit ICMP

The Minister for Human Rights of Iraq, His Excellency Dr. Bakhtiar Amin, arrived Friday afternoon in Sarajevo for an official visit with the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). During the visit, Dr. Amin and his delegation of technical experts will tour ICMP facilities and have an opportunity to learn about ICMP methodology, including assistance in the formulation of government policies on missing persons issues, scientific approaches to identification of bodies and assistance and support for family members of the missing.During his four-day visit, the Minister will meet with ICMP staff to discuss options on how to address the missing persons issue. He will meet with ICMP forensic anthropologists to learn about exhumation and examination procedures, and visit the ICMP DNA laboratory in Sarajevo, where DNA profiles are generated from bone samples taken from the remains of missing persons and from blood samples given by family members of missing…

Families of the Missing Give Blood Samples to Trace Relatives

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has had a positive response to the second round of its outreach campaign to collect blood samples from family members of persons missing from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. Funded by the European Union, ICMP’s “Outreach Campaign to Families of Missing Persons – Assisting the Identification Process in the Former Yugoslavia” targeted family members living in Europe, with phase II covering Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Switzerland. ICMP teams who traveled to the target countries collected a total of 1,771 blood samples from 1 – 10 October 2004.Deputy Director of ICMP’s Forensic Sciences Department Adnan Rizvic said he was extremely happy with the second part of the campaign, “We collected more blood samples that we had expected, which means we actually opened some new cases,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how much time has passed, family members are still…

ICMP and the Government of Croatia to launch a joint campaign to collect blood samples from families of missing persons

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the Government of Croatia agreed Tuesday to launch a joint campaign to collect blood samples from families of persons missing as a result of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Some 25,000 persons are still missing in the region, including many from the Republic of Croatia.Under the terms of an agreement signed in Zagreb on Tuesday between the ICMP and the Croatian Ministry of the Family, Veterans’ Affairs and Intergenerational Solidarity (MOBMS), joint Ministry and ICMP teams will collect blood samples from family members of the missing at locations around Croatia during two weekends, beginning November 20, 2004. The Ministry and ICMP are urging family members who have not already given blood samples to take part in this campaign.

At the signing of the Agreement, Assistant Minister of MOBMS, Ivan Grujić, who signed on behalf of the Croatian Government, said, “This project…

ICMP to Help Investigation of Mass Graves in Iraq

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) announced Friday it will assist Iraq in its efforts to address the issue of missing persons. The ICMP will donate access to its highly sophisticated forensic Data Management System (fDMS), a unique electronic database that tracks the process of exhumations and identifications from site reconnaissance and exhumation to identification of remains, notification of family members and final burial.There are believed to be between 300,000 and one million missing persons in Iraq following the regime of Saddam Hussein. Most of the missing are believed to be buried in mass graves and several mass grave sites have already been excavated.

“Resolving the fate of missing persons is a crucial element in providing justice for family members and in allowing any reconciliation process to move forward. The authorities in Iraq recognize that unless these mass graves are properly investigated, they could pose a serious threat to…

Dutch Government donates 1 million Euros to ICMP

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), announced Tuesday it has received a grant of one million Euros from the Dutch Government.The Government of the Netherlands is ICMP’s second largest contributor, and the current donation brings Dutch financial support for ICMP in 2004 to a total of 2 million Euros.

The Government of the Netherlands has been generous in its support of a wide range of post-conflict activities in Bosnia Herzegovina, including, since 1998, the work of the ICMP. Dutch Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Robert Bosscher commented that his Government’s support emphasized “the very important work the ICMP is doing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, not only for the individual families of missing persons involved, but also for the country at large.”

“We are tremendously grateful for the continued support of the Dutch Government,” said ICMP Chief of Staff Kathryne Bomberger when the donation was announced. “All the work we do,…