For Immediate Release
June 18, 2003
Coalition Assistance to Protect Mass Graves
The Coalition is working to help grieving families search for lost
relatives and to preserve evidence for future prosecutions against the
perpetrators of these crimes by the new government. The Coalition's
policy toward preserving mass graves, includes the following:
- To strike the delicate balance between the interests of families
searching for loved ones and broader justice issues, the Coalition is
working with local leaders where digging has already begun to
coordinate the process; providing security at sites where digging has
not begun; and sending forensic teams to conduct exhumations of grave
- The Coalition and the Iraqi Committee on Missing Persons (ICMP) are
collecting records of Iraqis who have disappeared and compiling a
national database to assist forensic investigative teams.
- Prosecution of crimes against humanity committed by the former
regime will be conducted through an Iraqi-led process assisted and
supported by the international community as needed.
- To ensure that prosecutors have access to evidence, the Coalition
will form an evidence coordination team, and this team will create
centralized and systematic warehouses for the storage, documentation
and preservation of evidence.