Monthly Archives: July 2016

127 Srebrenica Victims Buried at the Memorial in Potočari

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After 21 years, the remains of an additional 127 victims of the Srebrenica massacre were laid to rest in Potočari today. Victims’ family members and friends gathered to pay their respects and bury their loved ones whose remains have been found in mass graves and were identified with the help of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

The estimated number of persons missing as a result of the fall of the Srebrenica and Žepa UN Safe Areas in July 1995 is approximately 8,000. By analyzing DNA profiles extracted from prost-mortem samples of exhumed remains and matching them to the DNA profiles obtained from ante-mortem samples, voluntarily provided by relatives of the missing, ICMP has so far assisted in revealing the identity of 6,925 persons missing from the July 1995 fall of Srebrenica. The total number of those accounted for (by traditional, as…

Daily World News Digest, 11 July 2016

Srebrenica Commemorates 21st Anniversary of Massacres

Balkan Insight reported today that the bodies of the 127 recently identified victims will be buried at the memorial site in Potočari on Monday,  which marks the 21st anniversary of the genocide. Each year, bodies that have been newly found and identified from mass graves are laid to rest at the Potocari memorial site, down the road from the town of Srebrenica. This year’s annual commemoration has been troubled with controversy after the organising committee, headed by the mayor of Srebrenica, Camil Durakovic, said that Serbian political leaders who denied the genocide are not invited to attend. http://bit.ly/29yAJaW

Srebrenica Prison Sentences: 637 Years and Counting

Balkan Insight carried out a story today about the punishments for the crimes committed 21 years ago against Bosniaks in Srebrenica. The Bosnian State Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in Hague have sentenced 38 people…

Profiles of the Missing

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At an event organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons in The Hague today, family members of missing persons from around the world described how they joined forces with others who had suffered the same trauma, in order to seek the truth about the fate of their loved ones.

“It is complex to live with ambiguous loss,” said Ram Kumar Bhandari from Nepal, whose father was arrested by police in December 2001 and has not been seen since. “It’s now been 15 years: this is a long, long wait.”

Ram, who has taken the case of his father’s disappearance through the courts, described how he suffered harassment when he sought legal redress. “We are fighting against injustice, to repair society: we are not following a path to revenge. We see the perpetrators posing in the media and leading the issues form the government…

Daily World News Digest, 8 July 2016

Missing Persons Are More Than a Humanitarian Issue

Justice Info published an interview on Wednesday with ICMP-Director General Kathryne Bomberger on the 20th anniversary of ICMP. Ms Bomberger referred to ICMP’s cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the newly signed Memorandum of Understanding with the International Criminal Court. “When people have been forcibly disappeared by State actors and those individuals are still in power when the conflict ends, you have an enormous gap between the survivors and the States,” she said. “After persons have food and shelter, they want to know where their loved ones are. If the State doesn’t provide the answer, you will have a gap forever. It is more than a humanitarian issue.”  http://bit.ly/29jD8od

ICMP and ICC sign agreement

The International Criminal Court announced on 7 June that a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed between ICMP and the International Criminal Court. The MoU was…

ICMP Opens Headquarters in The Hague

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The ICMP Board of Commissioners held its 18th meeting today, in The Hague. The Commissioners, together with ICMP’s directors, discussed ICMP’s evolving role in addressing the global challenge of missing persons and examined ways of securing sustainable funding that will allow ICMP to carry out its mandate wherever it is needed in the world.

The ICMP Board of Commissioners consists of Ambassador (Ret) Miller, Her Majesty Queen Noor, Former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok, former Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebæk, former OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities Rolf Ekeus, UK Minister of State for Care and Support Alistair Burt, and former Thai Foreign Minister and Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Surin Pitsuwan. Dr Surin, who joined the ICMP Board of Commissioners in June, was not present at today’s meeting.

On Thursday evening, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, Mayor of The…

ICC Office of the Prosecutor and the International Commission on Missing Persons Sign Memorandum of Understanding

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Today, 7 July 2016, at the conclusion of a visit by the Commissioners of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Ms Fatou Bensouda, and ICMP Chairman Thomas Miller signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation.

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Ambassador Miller was accompanied by ICMP Commissioners Her Majesty Queen Noor; former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok, Former Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek, and UK Minister of State for Care and Support Alistair Burt, as well as ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger.  The meeting took place at the Seat of the Court in The Hague.

“We have a shared commitment to give a voice to the victims of mass atrocities through our respective work and this MoU marks an important step forward in the long-standing partnership between the ICC and ICMP,” said…

Daily World News Digest, 7 July 2016

Families of the disappeared in the Philippines petition Duterte

UCA News, a Catholic news service in Asia, carries a story today about the families of missing persons who have sought the help of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to locate some 2,300 people who have been missing since the 1970s. In a letter to Duterte, the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) called for the “full implementation” of the Philippines law on enforced disappearances and the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances. In addition, AFAD called on the government to bring perpetrators to justice, and provide full support for reparation, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of the historical memory of the disappeared http://bit.ly/29jC9J9

Sri Lanka FM Mangala promises transitional justice next steps soon

The Daily Financial Times, an English-language newspaper from Sri Lanka, carries a story today about the participation of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera…

ICMP Ready to Help Iraqi Authorities Identify Victims of Baghdad Bombing

The death of 250 people in Sunday’s bomb attack in Baghdad brings yet more grief to a population already traumatized by atrocity and inhumanity, ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said today. She expressed solidarity with the survivors of this attack and their families.

Taking appropriate steps to identify the dead and the missing is a legal responsibility of governments around the world, including the Government of Iraq, Bomberger said. Since ICMP began working in Iraq in 2003, it has trained more than 550 Iraqi professionals in locating, securing, excavating and documenting mass graves and in DNA extraction. It has also worked with families of the missing to help them assert their right to the truth, to justice and to reparation.

“The key task today is to ensure that the chain of responsibility is operating in what are clearly very challenging circumstances,” Bomberger said. “This awful…

Profiles of the Missing

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ICMP is organizing a major international panel discussion on missing persons from 14.00 to 16.00 on Friday 8 July 2016 at the Theater aan het Spui, Foyer Spui 187, 2511 BN, The Hague, the Netherlands. The conference can be followed via livestream at 

Daily World News Digest, 4 July 2016

Nine Tunisian immigrants drowned, others missing as boat capsized off Sabratha shores

The Libya Observer reported on 3 July that a boat carrying 28 Tunisian immigrants capsized off Sabratha shores on Saturday. 12 of the migrants were rescued, 9 drowned bodies were picked out of sea water, while seven others are still missing, Tunisian law activists reported. Most of the Tunisian migrants were from Ben Gardane district on the border with Libya, they set off from the south of Tunisia heading toward Libya, then they rented a boat to make the perilous journey to Europe, the activists added. http://bit.ly/29cY70o

Lebanon’s mass graves

ArabTimes reports today that the International Committee of the Red Cross has started collecting DNA samples to help identify thousands of people who disappeared during Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, the ICRC said Friday. The ICRC called on the Lebanese authorities to create a “national mechanism” to help match victims’ bodies…