Infographic Provides Latest Facts and Figures on Srebrenica Genocide

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Key facts and figures related to the Srebrenica Genocide of July 1995 have been published on ICMP’s website. A Srebrenica infographic provides details about work done during the last 20 years to account for the estimated 8,000 missing, including numbers of victims who have been identified by different means, and statistics on Srebrenica-related war-crimes cases.

The Srebrenica infographic can be found at:   http://bit.ly/1JzSmFy

 

Preparing a Missing Persons Strategy for Libya

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Libyan lawyers and other stakeholders meeting at a seminar in Istanbul on 11-12 May called on the parties preparing a national dialogue in Libya to make a formal commitment not only to work towards disclosing the fate of missing persons but to conduct investigations and also to safeguard the rights of families.

Legal experts, civil society activists and government representatives were participating in a seminar on “criminal procedure and the use of evidence in court-led processes on mass graves and missing persons in Libya”, organized by ICMP to help stakeholders develop a legal framework through which the missing persons issue can be addressed when the operating environment in the country stabilizes.

Fadeel Mohammed Atayeb Lameen, Chairman of the Libyan National Dialogue Preparatory Commission, welcomed the seminar’s recommendation highlighting the authorities’ obligations in the field of missing persons. “I think this will be useful to all those who are engaged in the…

Review of Unidentified Remains in BiH Mortuaries

IMG_2495-photo Jasmin Agovic

At the end of May, a team of experts working under the jurisdiction of the Central Bosnia Canton Prosecutor’s Office began the process of case review and anthropological analysis of unidentified remains associated with Travnik mortuary. Relevant authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina at every level are conducting a thorough review of all 12 mortuaries in the country to establish why a large number of bone samples sent for testing do not match the genetic profiles of nearly 9,000 complete sets of reference samples provided by more than 27,000 family members with missing relatives.

At the end of 2012 the Missing Persons Institute determined that there were 3,279 cases of human remains in mortuaries across Bosnia and Herzegovina that had the status of NN, that is, they were unidentified. Since June 2013 the NN Working Group has reviewed nearly 1,300 NN cases in the mortuaries at Sutina,…

Memorialization in Mexico

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Danielle House examines creative and effective methods of memorialization in Mexico that address a variety of live issues related to enforced disappearance

On 26 September 2014, students from the Ayotzinapa teacher training college in Guerrero, Southern Mexico, were attacked by municipal police. Three students and three bystanders were killed, 25 were wounded, and a further 43 were forced into police trucks. The 43, however, were not taken to a police station and there was no record of their arrest; they disappeared.

The Procuraduría General de la República (PGR, Mexico’s Office of the Attorney General) has since declared the ‘historic truth’ of the event: the Mayor of the local town, Iguala, ordered the police to attack the students, to prevent them from disrupting an event his wife was hosting that evening. The police handed the students over to local cartel members, who then killed the students and disposed of their bodies.

A Million Reasons not to Make Peace in Iraq

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When troops loyal to the government in Baghdad retook Tikrit in April, they discovered hundreds of bodies buried in mass graves near the River Tigris; hundreds more victims of Islamic State are believed to have been dumped in the river. This episode is just one piece in a blood-soaked mosaic: half a century of dictatorship and conflict have resulted in reports that there are up to one million missing persons in Iraq.

Speakers at conferences organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Baghdad and Erbil at the end of April and the beginning of May stressed the need to gather precise statistics as a preliminary step in tackling this issue, but one participant from an Iraqi women’s group summed up the nature and scale of the problem when she described missing persons as “the biggest and the oldest crisis facing our nation”.

ICMP has been addressing the issue…

ICMP at the WILPF 2015 Conference

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From 27 to 29 April, ICMP participated at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) international conference on “Women’s Power to Stop War”, in The Hague, the Netherlands. The conference was organized to mark the centennial of the establishment of WILPF, when in 1915 more than 1,300 women came together in The Hague in an effort to stop the violence of World War One and establish the principles of permanent peace.

The three-day conference, organized by WILPF and over 40 other civil society organizations, comprised five plenary sessions and more than 47 smaller sessions, including workshops, panels, testimonials, films and regional meetings. A range of subjects were discussed, including the current alarming world trend in militarization, issues related to women and conflict, ideas of masculinities and the need to engage men and boys in gender equality, peace and social justice; fighting impunity in regard to sexual violence in…

Effort to Account for the Missing Must Continue

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BiH Minister for Human Rights and Refugees Semiha Borovac said today that the new authorities are committed to sustaining the effort to account for the missing and implementing the recommendations in the International Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP) BiH Stocktaking Report.

Ms Borovac was speaking at the conclusion of an ICMP presentation at the BiH Parliament. She said that while Bosnia and Herzegovina is leading the world in accounting for missing persons from conflict, with over 70 percent of the 30,000 persons now accounted for, it must create a roadmap for finding the remaining 8,000 persons.

The presentation highlighted the need for more technical experts, for better coordination between the Prosecutor’s Office and the Missing Persons Institute (MPI) and for appropriate funding for the MPI.

ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said families of the missing are frustrated by the failure of successive administrations to implement the Law on Missing Persons fully. “The Law…

Analysis of Unidentified Remains Begins in Travnik

17. A refrigerated mortuary room

Following a meeting of the working group on the review of unidentified remains in BiH mortuaries, in Visoko on 22 May in the presence of the Prosecutor’s Offices, MPI Directors and Investigators, Legal Medicine Specialist, and Police investigators, it was agreed that anthropological analysis of unidentified remains – the Travnik cases – under the jurisdiction of the Central Bosnia Canton Prosecutor’s Office will begin in the course of this week.

Relevant authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina at every level are conducting a thorough review of all 11 mortuaries in the country to establish why almost 3,000 bone samples received from local authorities do not match the genetic profiles of nearly 9,000 complete sets of reference samples provided by more than 27,000 family members with missing relatives.  It is not yet clear why such a large number of bone samples do not match the available genetic profiles.

The review process undertaken by…

Libya Must Account for the Missing, Uphold the Rights of Families

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Libyan lawyers and other stakeholders, meeting at a seminar in Istanbul, today called on the parties preparing a national dialogue in Libya to make a formal commitment not only to work towards disclosing the fate of missing persons but to conduct investigations and also to safeguard the rights of families.

Legal experts, civil society activists and government representatives from Libya participated in a seminar on Monday and Tuesday on “criminal Procedure and the use of evidence in court-led processes on mass graves and missing persons in Libya”. The seminar, organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons, was designed to help Libyan stakeholders develop a legal framework through which the issue of missing persons in Libya can be addressed effectively when the operating environment stabilizes.

Under ICMP auspices, experts from the Netherlands Forensic Institute, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court, the Libyan National Dialogue Preparatory…

Memories that Divide: Memories that Heal

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The following is an abridged version of a detailed report prepared by Viktorija Ruzicic-Tokic, a former Program Officer at ICMP, analyzing the memorialization challenges in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For many years, ICMP has actively facilitated discussions among different civil society organizations (CSOs) on remembrance and universal memorialization of missing persons in the Western Balkans. The object has been to bring together associations of families of missing persons, CSOs and human rights activists with a view to creating a better understanding of the concept of memorialization and its significance to transitional justice in the region, and also to develop joint approaches to memorializing more than 41,000 missing persons in the Western Balkans.

Since 2010, ICMP has initiated a series of consultations and dialogue sessions throughout the region. These sessions have shown that the best way to foster agreement on a universal approach to memorializing missing persons is to…