Monthly Archives: July 2019

Daily Digest, 17 July 2019

European Disaster Victim Identification center

A new European approach to large-scale identification processes must be developed, the author of an opinion piece carried on the website of Dutch national broadcaster BNNVARA writes on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the MH17 attack, which killed 296 passengers and crew on a Malaysian Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The author recommends the establishment of a European disaster identification center that can work with the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) “as its expertise, infrastructure, authority, experience and forensic capacity are centrally organized” (Orginal article in Dutch)

Iraq: UNITAD makes progress

The Head of the UN team investigating Da’esh crimes in Iraq (UNITAD), Karim Khan, has told the UN Security Council that UNITAD is making tangible progress in acquiring digital, documentary, testimonial and forensic evidences to prosecute Da’esh members who committed atrocities in three initial areas which are…

Daily Digest, 16 July 2019

Syria: more than 300 human remains in Raqqa mass grave

AFP reports that 313 sets of human remains have been exhumed from a mass grave that was discovered near the northern city of Raqqa in June. The victims, who are believed to have been killed by Da’esh, include women and children.

UN urged to respond to Philippines “war on drugs”

The ABS-CBN news network from the Philippines reports that the iDefend group (In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement) claims that tens of thousands have died in the Philippines “war on drugs” since the start of the Duterte administration in July 2016. The group has called on the government to exert all means to prevent extrajudicial killings.

Pakistan: missing persons groups at risk

The Wire reports that more than 100 members of Pakistani civil society have released a statement citing “colossal crises” in the country as a result of…

Daily Digest, 15 July 2019

Syria: detainee death notices

The Enab Baladi news portal reports on enforced disappearances in Syria, noting that, although official death notices of large numbers of detainees in Syrian prisons have been issued, “the bodies were not delivered to their parents, nor were they provided with the locations of their burial sites.” The report says lists of persons killed in detention centers have been sent to the Civil Registry, which then issues a death certificate. It says this “stands in the way of victims’ families in taking any legal action to determine the cause of death, its location, or even to claim the victim’s body.”

Identification of MH17 victims

The Dutch TV news network, 1V, reports on the work of the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) to identify victims of the July 2014 downing of a Malaysian airliner, MH17, in Ukraine. It says NFI hopes to make a breakthrough in identifying…

Daily Digest, 12 July 2019

Srebrenica: identifying the victims of genocide

The Herald newspaper from Scotland carries a story about this week’s anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, following the experience of Scottish musicians who recently visited Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they visited a human identification facility established by the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). The article highlights the work of ICMP Forensic Anthropologist Dragana Vucetic and others who are working to ensure that victims are identified and that the truth of what happened in Srebrenica continues to be told.

Srebrenica: A transparent and truthful account is essential for peace  

TV1 news from Bosnia and Herzegovina carries a statement by ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger on the 24th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. “It is essential to continue efforts to account for those who are still missing and to bring those who were responsible to justice. A historical record based on scientific fact reduces the…

Upholding a Transparent and Truthful Account Of What Happened in Srebrenica is Essential for Peace  

The Hague, 11 July 2019:  Twenty-four years after the Srebrenica Genocide, it is essential to continue efforts to account for those who are still missing and to bring those who were responsible to justice, International Commission on Missing persons (ICMP) Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said today.

ICMP scientific data concerning persons missing from the fall of Srebrenica has been admitted in evidence at trials before the ICTY and courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. To date, 20 individuals have been tried at the ICTY for crimes related to Srebrenica. Of these, 15 have been convicted. The BIH State Court has put 56 individuals on trial for crimes related to Srebrenica of whom 37 have been convicted.

For more than two decades, ICMP has led the effort to account for those who went missing during the conflict and to uphold the rights of families of the missing, regardless of national, ethnic or religious affiliation.


Daily Digest, 11 July 2019

Srebrenica: anniversary of genocide

N1 reports on preparations for the burial today of 33 newly identified victims of the genocide in Srebrenica. Thousands of people will gather at the Memorial Center in Potočari, outside Srebrenica, to honor the 6,610 victims already buried there. More than 1,000 victims are still missing. 6,610 victims are buried at the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Centre, 26 are women.

Valentin Inzko in Srebrenica

The Oslobodjenje newspaper reports that the international community’s High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, speaking in Srebrenica, said that denying genocide is absurd. He said a law prohibiting genocide denial will be enacted before the next Srebrenica anniversary. (original article in Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian).

Lars Gunnar Wigemark on Srebrenica

Oslobodjenje reports that the Head of the European Union’s Delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, speaking in Srebrenica, said the European Union is based on recognition of the Holocaust and the obligation…

Daily Digest, 10 July 2019

Srebrenica mothers appeal for more information on those stuill missing 

On the 24th anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide, the association of mothers of victims has appealed for information on mass graves where those who are still missing may be buried, the N1 news channel from Bosnia and Herzegovina reports. Around 8,000 men and boys were murdered in Srebrenica in July 1995 

Search for missing persons in Colombia 

The Bogota Post reports on the activities of Colombia’s Unit for the Search of Disappeared Persons (UPBD) which was created as part of the 2016 peace accord.  It says UPBD officials have arrived in 10 cities, where teams of forensic scientists will begin gathering information from victims’ families and local municipalities to plan possible exhumations. 

Yemen: enforced disappearance and incommunicado detention 

Daily Digest, 9 July 2019

Libya: Harsh conditions for migrants amid airstrikes

Following the air strike on a migrant detention camp in the Libyan capital Tripoli last week in which 53 people were killed and 130 more injured, Germany’s Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Müller, has called for an international rescue mission for migrants trapped in these camps, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Iraq: wildfires and mass graves

Ezidi 24 has published an ICMP statement noting that wildfires in the Sinjar area, where ICMP is working with the Iraqi authorities and UNITAD at a series of mass grave excavations, are unlikely to have damaged human remains at mass graves. ICMP adds, however, that “the recovery of surface remains at vulnerable sites should be a priority.” (Original article in Arabic)

Human remains to be buried in Srebrenica on 11 July

The human remains of 33 victims killed during the Srebrenica Genocide in July…

Daily Digest, 8 July 2019

Malaysia: enforced disappearance official enquiry

The Free Malaysia Today news portal carries an opinion piece on a series of high-profile disappearances that are the subject of an official enquiry. A book about the disappearances is described as “a compelling narrative of the pain, anguish and uncertainty endured by the families of the missing as well as their unrelenting quest for justice”, detailing “the determination of ordinary citizens, lawyers, civil society groups and churchmen to hold their government accountable.”

Tunisia: more than 60 missing after migrant shipwreck

Aljazeera reports that the human remains of 12 African migrants have been recovered by Tunisia’s coastguard. The Tunisian Red Crescent said a boat carrying more than 80 people sank soon after leaving Libya, amid fears that most of the migrants have drowned.

Malta allows rescued migrants to disembark

A group of 65 migrants rescued off Libya have been allowed to disembark in Malta,…

Daily Digest, 5 July 2019

Poznan Summit: Western Balkans progress in accounting for the missing

A dedicated meeting on accounting for persons missing from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia has been held in the framework of the 6th Berlin Process Summit in Poznan, Poland. Representatives of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the regional Missing Persons Group (MPG) met with UK Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan, among other things to discuss the progress that has been made by the MPG in implementing the agreed Framework Plan to locate and/or identify the 12,000 persons who are still missing from the conflicts.

Migrant boat capsizes off Tunisia

More than 80 people are feared dead after their boat capsized of the coast of Tunisia according to the UN migration agency, The Guardian reports. The boat sank on Wednesday off the port town of Zarzis and 82 of the migrants who had been onboard were missing….